Using Shifts in Deployment and Operations to Test for Racial Bias in Police Stops

AEA Papers and Proceedings 2019, 109: 1–5

Columbia Public Law Research Paper No. 14-619

4 Pages Posted: 18 May 2020

See all articles by John MacDonald

John MacDonald

University of Pennsylvania

Jeffrey Fagan

Columbia Law School

Date Written: February 25, 2019

Abstract

We rely on a policy experiment in the New York City Police Department (NYPD) to address the well-known problems of omitted variable bias and infra-marginality in traditional outcomes tests of racial bias in police stops. The NYPD designated specific areas as impact zones and deployed extra officers to these areas and encouraged them to conduct more intensive stop, question, and frisk activity. We find that the NYPD are more likely to frisk black and Hispanic suspects after an area becomes an impact zone compared to other areas of the city.

Keywords: racial bias, police stops, NYPD, New York City

Suggested Citation

MacDonald, John and Fagan, Jeffrey, Using Shifts in Deployment and Operations to Test for Racial Bias in Police Stops (February 25, 2019). AEA Papers and Proceedings 2019, 109: 1–5, Columbia Public Law Research Paper No. 14-619, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3342493

John MacDonald (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

483 McNeil Building
3718 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
215-646-3623 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.crim.upenn.edu/faculty_macdonald.htm

Jeffrey Fagan

Columbia Law School ( email )

435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States
212-854-2624 (Phone)
212-854-7946 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.columbia.edu/fac/Jeffrey_Fagan

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
25
Abstract Views
156
PlumX Metrics