Economics of Racism
Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021 3:45 PM - 5:45 PM (EST)
- Chair: Lisa D. Cook, Michigan State University
Who “Benefits” from Bail Reform? Evidence from Pretrial Detention and Police Misconduct
AbstractUsing data linking defendants to their arresting officers' misconduct record from the second-largest police department in the U.S., we evaluate the impact of pretrial detention on defendants' outcomes by level of officers' past conduct. We exploit the release tendencies of quasi-randomly assigned bail judges at the first bail hearing. While the literature on bail commonly relies on the LATE interpretation obtained by 2SLS, we show that this approach tends to mask heterogeneity in response to treatment by the level of officers' past conduct. Using the Marginal Treatment Effect and Marginal Treatment Response frameworks, we document how pretrial detention impacts defendants' outcomes differently by officers' past behavior. Our results have policy implications related to the court system and police accountability.
Statistical Discrimination versus Implicit Bias: Disentangling the Sources of Gender and Racial Bias in an Educational Setting
AbstractIn this paper, we seek to understand minority and female underrepresentation in advanced STEM courses in high school by investigating whether school counselors exhibit racial or gender bias during the course assignment process. We extend the analysis by attempting to disentangle whether any observed bias can be attributed to taste-based discrimination, statistical discrimination, or implicit bias. Using an adapted audit study, we asked a nationally-recruited sample of school counselors to evaluate student transcripts that were identical except for the names on the transcripts, which were varied randomly to suggestively represent a chosen race and gender combination. In order to identify the sources of bias we included three additional experimental conditions. First, we asked every participant to take an Implicit Associations Test (IAT) at the end of the experiment. This test provides a measure of a participants’ implicit bias. Second, we randomly included additional academic information in the form of a high math PSAT score for a subsample of survey participants. If statistical discrimination is a source of bias, the introduction of additional positive academic information should decrease any evaluation gaps by race or gender on average. Finally, we included a series of questions vetted in the psychology literature to measure taste-based discrimination. Understanding the underlying sources of racial and gender bias can help stakeholders and policymakers design better solutions to address the bias.
Homefront: Black Servicemembers and Black Voters in the Civil Rights Era
AbstractWhile the role of World War II veterans in the Civil Rights Movement has been well documented, debate about the causal effect of military service remain. This paper presents the first causal estimates of the role of black veterans in high-risk political participation in the US South. Exploiting detailed information on World War II enlistments and inductions with Civil Rights Commission (CCR) data on voter registration, we find that counties with more African American servicemembers had greater black voter-registration after the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Our difference-in-difference and event-study estimates imply that each black enlistee increased black voter registration by more than two additional black registrants. Consistent with a causal effect of military service, we find slightly larger effects for draftees versus those who volunteered. These findings suggest that black military service in World War II were causally related to high-risk political participation after the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Lisa D. Cook,
Michigan State University
Jamein P. Cunningham,
University of Memphis
Center for American Progress
- A1 - General Economics