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From prejudice to racial profiling and back. A naἴve intuitive statistician's curse

Manuel Förster and Dominik Karos
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Manuel Förster: Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University
Dominik Karos: Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University

Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Manuel Foerster

No 644, Center for Mathematical Economics Working Papers from Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University

Abstract: A designer conducts random searches to detect criminals, and may condition the search probability on individuals' appearance. She updates her belief about the distribution of criminals across appearances using her search results, but incorrectly takes her sample distribution for the population distribution. In equilibrium she employs optimal search probabilities given her belief, and her belief is consistent with her findings. We show that she will be discriminating an appearance if and only if she overestimates the probability of this appearance's being criminal. Moreover, in a linear model, tightening her budget will worsen the situation of those most discriminated against.

Keywords: Biased inference; police search; naἴve intuitive statistics; racial profiling; discrimination (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 26
Date: 2021-03-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ure
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https://pub.uni-bielefeld.de/download/2952189/2952194 First Version, 2021 (application/pdf)

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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:bie:wpaper:644

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