Gender Bias in Power Relationships: Evidence from Police Traffic Stops

25 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2007

See all articles by Garrick Blalock

Garrick Blalock

Cornell University - School of Applied Economics and Management

Jed DeVaro

California State University, East Bay

Stephanie Leventhal

Cornell University

Daniel H. Simon

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA)

Date Written: February 2007

Abstract

We test for the existence of gender bias in power relationships. Specifically, we examine whether police officers are less likely to issue traffic tickets to men or to women during traffic stops. Whereas the conventional wisdom, which we document with surveys, is that women are less likely to receive tickets, our analysis shows otherwise. Examination of a pooled sample of traffic stops from five locations reveals no gender bias, but does show significant regional variation in the likelihood of citations. Analysis by location shows that women are more likely to receive citations in three of the five locations. Men are more likely to receive citations in the other two locations. To our knowledge, this study is the first to test for gender bias in traffic stops, and clearly refutes the conventional wisdom that police are more lenient towards women.

Keywords: Gender discrimination, police, traffic stops

JEL Classification: J71, K42, J16

Suggested Citation

Blalock, Garrick and DeVaro, Jed and Leventhal, Stephanie and Simon, Daniel H., Gender Bias in Power Relationships: Evidence from Police Traffic Stops (February 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=998464 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.998464

Garrick Blalock

Cornell University - School of Applied Economics and Management ( email )

248 Warren Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

Jed DeVaro

California State University, East Bay ( email )

25800 Carlos Bee Boulevard
Hayward, CA California 94542
United States
1(510)885-3289 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www2.cbe.csueastbay.edu/fac_page/final/index.php?id=308

Stephanie Leventhal

Cornell University ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

Daniel H. Simon (Contact Author)

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA) ( email )

1315 East Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

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