Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Type I and Type II Error Probabilities in the Courtroom

Kanaya, Shin and Taylor, Luke (2020): Type I and Type II Error Probabilities in the Courtroom.

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Abstract We estimate the likelihood of miscarriages of justice by reframing the problem in the context of misclassified binary choice models. The estimator is based on new nonparametric identification results, for which we provide methods to empirically test the key identifying assumptions and alternative identification schemes for when these checks fail. Blacks are found to have both a higher probability of conviction when innocent and a higher probability of acquittal when guilty, relative to whites. We go on to show that this seemingly contradictory result is, in fact, consistent with a model where both police and judges discriminate against blacks.

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