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DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS WORKING PAPER SERIES Man vs. Machine: An Investigation of Speeding Ticket Disparities Based on Gender and Race

By  and Sarah Marx Quintanar and Sarah Marx Quintanar


This paper analyzes the extent to which police behavior in giving speeding tickets differs from that of automated cameras, which provide an estimate of the population of speeders. In contrast to the automated cameras, the probability of a ticketed driver being African-American or female is significantly higher when the ticket is given by a police officer. This implies that police consider gender and race when issuing speeding tickets. Potential behavioral reasons of this outcome are discussed. The validity of using automated cameras as a population measure for police-issued tickets is thoroughly investigated and supportive evidence is provided.

Year: 2011
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