The Effect of Court-Ordered Hiring Quotas on the Composition and Quality of Police
McCrary, Justin. 2007. "The Effect of Court-Ordered Hiring Quotas on the Composition and Quality of Police."
American Economic Review,
Arguably the most aggressive affirmative action program ever implemented in the
United States was a series of court-ordered racial hiring quotas imposed on
municipal police departments. My best estimate of the effect of court-ordered
affirmative action on work-force composition is a 14-percentage-point gain in the
fraction African American among newly hired officers. Evidence on police performance
is mixed. Despite substantial black-white test score differences on police
department entrance examinations, city crime rates appear unaffected by litigation.
However, litigation lowers slightly both arrests per crime and the fraction black
among serious arrestees. (JEL H76, J15, J78, K31)
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