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02 May 2007

Comments

frankcross

The article certainly has gotten play. Here's an ELS connection. The authors had to use the composition of the full referee panel to do the study, because they couldn't get data on the calls of individual refs. So the white vs. black findings were based on panel percentages, not direct calls by individual ref.

This has some parallel to some judicial research. Because the government won't release judge specific data, some guessing is required for use of the AOC. Schanzenbach & Tiller did a study of sentencing, in which they initially could characterize individual district courts as X% Republican or Democrat. They subsequently were able to associate individual judges with sentences pretty well, through a painstaking search of PACER, and got similar conclusions. This is soon to be published in UChiLR, along with a plea for the government to release more data.

Also, there is the possibility of panel effects, that one black ref on a panel could influence the decisions of white refs.

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