Reconciling Results on Racial Differences in Police Shootings

Roland G. Fryer, Jr

NBER Working Paper No. 24238
Issued in January 2018
NBER Program(s):Law and Economics, Labor Studies

Police use of force – particularly lethal force – is one of the most divisive issues of the twenty-first century. To understand the nexus of race, criminal justice, and police brutality, academics and journalists have begun to amass impressive datasets on Officer-Involved-Shootings (OIS). I compare the data and methods of three investigative journalism articles and two publications in the social sciences on a set of five rubrics and conclude that the stark differences between their findings are due to differences in what qualifies for a valid research design and not underlying differences in the datasets.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w24238

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