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Man vs. Machine: An Investigation of Speeding Ticket Disparities Based on Gender and Race

This paper analyzes the extent to which police behavior in giving speeding tickets differs from the ticketing pattern of automated cameras. The automated tickets provide an estimate of the population of speeders at a given location, time, and even severity of the violation. The data, obtained from Lafayette, Louisiana, provides a wide range of details concerning characteristics of the violation such as location, date, time of day, legal speed, speed over the limit, day of the week, and also specific details about the ticketed driver. The probability of a ticketed driver being African-American or female is significantly higher when the ticket was given by a police officer in contrast to an automated source, implying that police use gender and race as a determining factor in issuing a speeding ticket. Potential behavioral reasons of this outcome have been discussed.

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File URL: http://bus.lsu.edu/McMillin/Working_Papers/pap09_16.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Louisiana State University in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 2009-16.

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Handle: RePEc:lsu:lsuwpp:2009-16
Contact details of provider: Postal: Baton Rouge, LA 70803-6306
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Web page: http://www.business.lsu.edu/economics
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  1. Kate Antonovics & Brian G. Knight, 2009. "A New Look at Racial Profiling: Evidence from the Boston Police Department," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 163-177, February.
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  8. Laura M. Argys & H. Naci Mocan, 2004. "Who Shall Live and Who Shall Die? An Analysis of Prisoners on Death Row in the United States," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 255-282, 06.
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  14. James J. Heckman, 1998. "Detecting Discrimination," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 101-116, Spring.
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  16. Larry D. Singell & John M. McDowell & James P. Ziliak, 1999. "Cracks in the Glass Ceiling: Gender and Promotion in the Economics Profession," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 392-396, May.
  17. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "Gender Differences in Pay," NBER Working Papers 7732, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Nardinelli, Clark & Simon, Curtis, 1990. "Customer Racial Discrimination in the Market for Memorabilia: The Case of Baseball," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 575-95, August.
  19. Becker, Gary S., 1971. "The Economics of Discrimination," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 2, number 9780226041162.
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