Generalising the Hit Rates Test for Racial Bias in Law Enforcement, with an Application to Vehicle Searches in Wichita

@article{Persico2006GeneralisingTH,
  title={Generalising the Hit Rates Test for Racial Bias in Law Enforcement, with an Application to Vehicle Searches in Wichita},
  author={Nicola Persico and Petra E. Todd},
  journal={Wiley-Blackwell: Economic Journal},
  year={2006}
}
  • N. Persico, P. Todd
  • Published 1 November 2006
  • Psychology
  • Wiley-Blackwell: Economic Journal
This article considers the use of outcomes-based tests for detecting racial bias in the context of police searches of motor vehicles. We characterise the police and motorist decision problems in a game theoretic framework, where police encounter motorists and decide whether to search them and motorists decide whether to carry contraband. Our modelling framework generalises that of Knowles et al. (2001). We apply the tests to data on police searches of motor vehicles gathered by the Wichita… 
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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
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Knowles, Persico, and Todd (2001) develop a model of police search and offender behavior. Their model implies that if police are unprejudiced the rate of guilt should not vary across groups. Using
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! This Interim Report is limited to the examination of the practice commonly referred to as “racial profiling.” The Report specifically focuses on activities of state troopers assigned to patrol the
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New data on highway stops and searches from across the country have spawned renewed debate over racial profiling on the roads. The new data reveal consistently disproportionate searches of minority
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