Featured Research

Cracking The Code

Implicit Bias and Racial Profiling

My Interest In racial profiling was sparked in 1999 when I read an article by a prominent legal scholar arguing that, while the policy was flawed on Constitutional grounds, it nevertheless represented a rational policing strategy. Having been steeped in the study of racial stereotyping, I was not ready to accept the assertion that profiling is rational. Racial profiling is stereotype-based policing, making judgments about individuals based on traits that are presumed to be prevalent in that individual’s racial, ethnic, gender, or other group. It occurred to me that the very evidence that drove stereotypes associating Blacks with drug crime (the typically profiled crime) was likely to be skewed by profiling itself. To the extent that police were stopping and searching Blacks at a higher rate, they would be arresting and incarcerating them at higher rates. This would skew the criminal justice statistics that people were pointing to.

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Environmental Commodities Markets and Emissions Trading

Towards a Low-Carbon Future

Market-based solutions to environmental problems offer great promise, but require complex public policies that take into account the many institutional factors necessary for the market to work and that guard against the social forces that can derail good public policies. Using insights about markets from the new institutional economics, Blas Luis Pérez Henríquez sheds light on the institutional history of the emissions trading concept as it has evolved across different contexts. It makes accessible the policy design and practical implementation aspects of a key tool for fighting climate change: emissions trading systems (ETS) for environmental control.

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Let’s Not Railroad American Higher Education!

“Politics, economics,and technology have conspired to make this an exceptionally challenging time for American higher education,” writes Dean Henry E. Brady in a paper published by Columbia University Press. We must continue to defend universities for their role in creating new knowledge, expanding our understanding of ourselves, speaking truth to power, and serving as the cathedrals of civilization. But we live in a pecuniary age with real pressures on the American middle class and on state governments. We must show that we are doing everything possible to improve learning and to control costs.” Read the full paper here.

Dean Henry Brady on Political Polarization

“The affluent and well-educated have participatory megaphones that amplify their voices in American politics,” says Dean Henry Brady, linking political polarization and economic inequality. In response to those who speak the loudest—by virtue of their extreme political views and their wealth and education—politicians often take positions on far from the center of political opinion. Public policies, in turn, deal disproportionately with the concerns of those with wealth and education and must contend with the polarized views of well-off Democrats and Republicans. 

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