Racial Bias in Motor Vehicle Searches: Theory and Evidence

@article{Knowles2001RacialBI,
  title={Racial Bias in Motor Vehicle Searches: Theory and Evidence},
  author={J. Knowles and N. Persico and P. Todd},
  journal={Journal of Political Economy},
  year={2001},
  volume={109},
  pages={203 - 229}
}
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… Expand
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