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The CURA publications library is currently being digitized by the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy. When the project is complete, the entire CURA publications library will be online and fully searchable. Unfortunately, during this process we are not able to honor individual requests for publications . Additionally, we no longer have physical copies of publications to send out.

New publications are digitized daily and the publications catalog on the CURA website is not automatically updated with links to scanned copies, so please search the CURA collection at the Digital Conservancy for the publications you are looking for:

Detecting Racial Profiling in Minneapolis Traffic Stops: A New Approach.

Ritter, Joseph A., and David Bael.

Some racial and ethnic groups, most notably African Americans, have protested what they perceive as manifestly unequal treatment from law enforcement agencies. One area of law enforcement that has drawn considerable attention is the enforcement of traffic laws, where there has been a longstanding perception among non-white drivers that they are far more likely than white drivers to be stopped and possibly searched. In other words, they believe they have been subject to racial profiling. The purpose of this study was to apply a new approach to testing for racial profiling in traffic stops to the data for Minneapolis. This method, developed by Grogger and Ridgeway, compares the stop rates for nonwhite drivers during daylight and darkness using only stops that occur at times of day when it is light at some times of the year and dark at other times. The new approach avoids statistical problems that have plagued the study of racial profiling. The authors find strong and compelling evidence of racial profiling in Minneapolis during 2002.

This CURA-funded research was turned into the article “How do police use race in traffic stops and searches? Tests based on observability of race,” Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Volume 135, March 2017, Pages 82–98.

CURA Reporter
Publication date: 
Minneapolis: Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, University of Minnesota.
Supported through a New Initiative grant from the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA), University of Minnesota.
39 (1-2): 11-17
Online availability
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CURA call number: 
Reporter 39 (1-2)

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