The Law and Economics of Stop-and-Frisk

12 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2015

See all articles by David Abrams

David Abrams

University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

Date Written: 2014


The relevant economic and legal research relating to police use of stop-and-frisk has largely been distinct. There is much to be gained by taking an interdisciplinary approach. This Essay emphasizes some of the challenges faced by those seeking to evaluate the efficacy and legality of stop-and-frisk, and suggests some ways forward and areas of exploration for future research.

Keywords: Law and economics, constitutional law, enforcement, search and seizure, Fourth Amendment, equal protection, racial discrimination, Terry v. Ohio, Floyd v. City of New York, Bailey v. Philadelphia, statistical models and analysis, hit-rates, difference-in-difference, public safety

JEL Classification: H43, K14, K42

Suggested Citation

Abrams, David S., The Law and Economics of Stop-and-Frisk (2014). Loyola University Chicago Law Journal, Vol. 46, Pg. 369, 2014, U of Penn, Inst for Law & Econ Research Paper No. 15-12, Available at SSRN: or

David S. Abrams (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School ( email )

3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

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