"Racial Bias in Motor Vehicle Searches: Theory and Evidence''
Police checking for illegal drugs are much more likely to search the vehicles of African-American motorists than those of white motorists. This paper develops a model of police and motorist behavior that suggests an empirical test for distinguishing whether this disparity is due to racial prejudice or to the police's objective to maximize arrests. When applied to vehicle search data from Maryland, our test results are consistent with the hypothesis of no racial prejudice against African-American motorists. However, if police have utility only for searches yielding large drug finds, then our analysis would suggest bias against white drivers. The model's prediction regarding nonrace characteristics is also largely supported by the data.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
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- Gary S. Becker, 1974.
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National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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- Kenneth Arrow, 1971. "The Theory of Discrimination," Working Papers 403, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
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- Scotchmer, Suzanne, 1987. "Audit Classes and Tax Enforcement Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 229-233, May.
- Scott Smart & Joel Waldfogel, 1996. "A Citation-Based Test for Discrimination at Economics and Finance Journals," NBER Working Papers 5460, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
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