Gender Differences in Preferences For Criminal Justice Error Types: An Experiment
30 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2021 Last revised: 6 Dec 2021
Date Written: August 31, 2021
This paper extends Givati (2019) by conducting a laboratory experiment to investigate the gender differences of criminal justice error types. In particular, we ask whether women care less about reducing Type I error than men when making explicit decisions about criminal justice errors. In our experiment, subjects can use points to reduce the prevalence of Type I and Type II error in two distinct criminal justice environments: (i) a Population Task where subjects’ decisions reflect their Type I and Type II error preferences for a conceptual population of accused defendants, and (ii) a Consequential Task where subjects’ decisions reflect their error preferences toward an actual defendant. Similar to the social survey data in Givati (2019), in a population environment, we find that men are more willing to reduce Type I error than women. Surprisingly, in our consequential environment, we find that men and women behave similarly.
Keywords: Type I Error, Type II Error, Gender Differences, Criminal Justice, Laboratory Experiments
JEL Classification: C91, D91
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation