U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Racial Profiling in Decisions to Search: A Preliminary Analysis Using Propensity-Score Matching

NCJ Number
International Journal of Police Science and Management Volume: 13 Issue: 4 Dated: Winter 2011 Pages: 336-347
George E. Higgins; Wesley G. Jennings; Kareem L. Jordan; Shaun L. Gabbidon
Date Published
12 pages
This study examined racial profiling.
The objective of the present study was to understand if racial and/or ethnic backgrounds are causal factors in a police officer's decision to search individuals during traffic stops. Using the Police-Public Contact Survey and propensity-score matching, the study results indicate that Blacks are significantly more likely to be searched than Whites. There were no differences, however, in searches between Hispanics and Whites. These findings suggest that race, but not ethnicity, appears to be a causal factor in a police officer's decision to search. The implications of this finding, along with directions for future research, are also discussed. (Published Abstract)