The hit rates test for racial bias in motor-vehicle searches

Nicola Persico*, Petra E. Todd

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


This paper exposits a rational choice model of police-motorist interactions originally developed in Knowles, Persico, and Todd (Knowles, J., Persico, N., Todd, P. [2001]. Racial bias in motor vehicle searches: Theory and evidence. Journal of Political Economy, 109, 203-299). It discusses how the model provides a test for detecting bias in police enforcement based on the success rate of searches and presents empirical evidence on the model's implications based on policing data from Maryland.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-53
Number of pages17
JournalJustice Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2008


  • Auditing
  • Crime
  • Racial discrimination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law


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