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May 23, 2017

"The Effects of Racial Profiling, Taste-Based Discrimination, and Enforcer Liability on Crime"

The title of this post is the title of this new paper by Murat Mungan now available via SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

The literature contains ambiguous findings as to whether statistical discrimination, e.g. in the form of racial profiling, causes a reduction in deterrence.  These analyses, however, assume that enforcers' incentives are exogenously fixed.  This article demonstrates that when the costs and benefits faced by officers in enforcing the law are endogenously determined, statistical discrimination as well as taste-based discrimination lead to an increase in criminal activity.  Moreover, the negative effects of statistical discrimination on deterrence are more persistent than similar effects due to taste-based discrimination.

This suggests, contrary to the impression created by the existing literature, that statistical discrimination is not only harmful, but, may be even more detrimental than taste-based discrimination.  Thus, for purposes of maximizing deterrence, the recent focus in empirical research on identifying taste-based discrimination as opposed to statistical discrimination may be misplaced.  A superior approach may be to identify whether any type of racial discrimination takes place in the enforcement of laws, and to provide enforcers with incentives to minimize the impact of their discriminatory behavior.

May 23, 2017 at 01:20 PM | Permalink


Can someone please define what the phrase "taste-based discrimination" means in this context for us non social scientists.

Posted by: Anon | May 23, 2017 2:01:44 PM

I was wondering the same.

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | May 23, 2017 2:08:32 PM

Here is part of the start of the paper: "In this strand of the literature (and the theoretical literature preceding it),
taste-based racial discrimination occurs when law enforcers have a preference towards mistreating, or at the very least showing less concern for, members of a particular race. Statistical racial discrimination, on the other hand, occurs when law enforcers take a person's race as an input in evaluating the likelihood with which they may be engaging in criminal activity."

Posted by: Doug B | May 23, 2017 2:13:54 PM

Advice from a savvy man. All black high school students should watch this short recording.


Posted by: David Behar | May 23, 2017 2:50:14 PM

Prof. Berman. Please, read this paper carefully. It is not long. Tell us what you think of its validity. Did you find any mistakes in it?

Posted by: David Behar | May 24, 2017 6:49:40 AM

I could not find an effect size. I invite the genius readers to try.

That makes the paper worthless. It is misleading. It makes a false, biased, left wing, pro-criminal, anti-victim, propaganda point. We already said, forget statistics. It is difficult to feel any effect smaller than 30% at the gut level.

So, half the murderers and half the murder victims, and half the suicide victims are drunk. Cut the drinking rate, and increase the marijuana use rate. You will feel an effect in dropping the rates of those events. This has happened among the adolescents of the United States.

Make the carceration nation after mandatory guidelines. Drop crime 40%, you can feel that, and walk outside after dark, again.

Posted by: David Behar | May 24, 2017 7:09:55 AM

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