A Few Bad Apples? Racial Bias in Policing
AbstractWe estimate the degree to which individual police officers practice racial discrimination. Using a bunching estimation design and data from the Florida Highway Patrol, we show that minorities are less likely to receive a discount on their speeding tickets than White drivers. Disaggregating this difference to the individual police officer, we estimate that 42 percent of officers practice discrimination. We then apply our officer-level discrimination measures to various policy-relevant questions in the literature. In particular, reassigning officers across locations based on their lenience can effectively reduce the aggregate disparity in treatment.
CitationGoncalves, Felipe, and Steven Mello. 2021. "A Few Bad Apples? Racial Bias in Policing." American Economic Review, 111 (5): 1406-41. DOI: 10.1257/aer.20181607
- H76 State and Local Government: Other Expenditure Categories
- J15 Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
- K42 Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law