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The Effect of Court-Ordered Hiring Quotas on the Composition and Quality of Police

  • Justin McCrary
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    Arguably the most aggressive affirmative action program ever implemented in the United States was a series of court-ordered racial hiring quotas imposed on municipal police departments. My best estimate of the effect of court-ordered affirmative action on workforce composition is a 14 percentage point gain in the fraction African American among newly hired officers. Evidence on police performance is mixed. Despite substantial black-white test score differences on police department entrance examinations, city crime rates appear unaffected by litigation. However, litigation lowers slightly both arrests per crime and the fraction black among serious arrestees.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w12368.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12368.

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    Date of creation: Jul 2006
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    Publication status: published as McCrary, Justin. "The Effect of Court-Ordered Hiring Quotas on the Composition and Quality of Police." American Economic Review 97, 1 (2008): 318-353.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12368
    Note: LS PE
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    1. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259 Elsevier.
    2. John J. Donohue III & James Heckman, 1991. "Continuous Versus Episodic Change: The Impact of Civil Rights Policy on the Economic Status of Blacks," NBER Working Papers 3894, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    6. Kate L. Antonovics & Brian G. Knight, 2004. "A New Look at Racial Profiling: Evidence from the Boston Police Department," NBER Working Papers 10634, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Donohue, John J, III & Levitt, Steven D, 2001. "The Impact of Race on Policing and Arrests," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(2), pages 367-94, October.
    8. Rosen, Sherwin, 1969. "Trade Union Power, Threat Effects and the Extent of Organization," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(106), pages 185-96, April.
    9. Decker, Scott H. & Smith, Russell L., 1980. "Police minority recruitment: A note on its effectiveness in improving black evaluations of the police," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 8(6), pages 387-393.
    10. James J. Heckman & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1976. "Does the contract compliance program work? An analysis of Chicago data," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 29(4), pages 544-564, July.
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