Measuring Racial Discrimination in Bail Decisions

@article{Arnold2020MeasuringRD,
  title={Measuring Racial Discrimination in Bail Decisions},
  author={David Arnold and Will Dobbie and Peter Hull},
  journal={NBER Working Paper Series},
  year={2020}
}
We develop new quasi-experimental tools to measure disparate impact, regardless of its source, in the context of bail decisions. We show that omitted variables bias in pretrial release rate comparisons can be purged by using the quasi-random assignment of judges to estimate average pretrial misconduct risk by race. We find that two-thirds of the release rate disparity between White and Black defendants in New York City is due to the disparate impact of release decisions. We then develop a… 

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