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How to Improve Forensic Science

Author

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  • Roger Koppl

    (Fairleigh Dickinson University)

Abstract

Some institutional structures for inquiry produce better approximations to truth than others. The current institutional structure of police forensics gives each lab a monopoly in the analysis of the police evidence it receives. Forensic workers have inadequate incentives to produce reliable analyses of police evidence. Competition would create such incentives. I outline a system of “competitive self regulation” for police forensics. Each jurisdiction would have several competing forensic labs. Evidence would be divided and sent to one, two, or three separate labs. Chance would determine which labs and how many would receive evidence to analyze. Competitive self regulation improves forensics by creating incentives for error detection and reducing incentives to produce biased analyses.

Suggested Citation

  • Roger Koppl, 2005. "How to Improve Forensic Science," Law and Economics 0503001, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwple:0503001 Note: Type of Document - doc; pages: 62
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. McQuade, Thomas J & Butos, William N, 2003. "Order-Dependent Knowledge and the Economics of Science," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 16(2-3), pages 133-152, September.
    2. McCabe, Kevin & Houser, Daniel & Ryan, Lee & Smith, Vernon & Trouard, Ted, 2001. "A Functional Imaging Study of Cooperation in Two-Person reciprocal Exchange," MPRA Paper 5172, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Jeffry M. Netter & William L. Megginson, 2001. "From State to Market: A Survey of Empirical Studies on Privatization," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 321-389, June.
    4. Oliver E. Williamson, 1976. "Franchise Bidding for Natural Monopolies -- in General and with Respect to CATV," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 7(1), pages 73-104, Spring.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:oup:jcomle:v:4:y:2008:i:1:p:1-30. is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Robert Garnett, 2011. "Specialists and citizens all: A reply to Boettke, Koppl, and Holcombe," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 24(1), pages 71-76, March.
    3. Claudio Detotto & Bryan C. McCannon, 2017. "Economic freedom and public, non-market institutions: evidence from criminal prosecution," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 107-128, May.
    4. Everard Cowan & Roger Koppl, 2011. "An experimental study of blind proficiency tests in forensic science," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 24(3), pages 251-271, September.
    5. Roger Koppl, 2011. "Against representative agent methodology," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 24(1), pages 43-55, March.
    6. Roger G. Koppl, 2006. "The Science Game: An Experiment on Reducing errors in Forensic Science and Other Areas," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2006-09, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    forensics; forensic science; epistemics; DNA; fingerprints; vouchers; privatization;

    JEL classification:

    • K - Law and Economics

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