False proxies for enforcement distortions in “policing for profit” research
Concerns about law enforcer incentives being affected by a desire to raise revenue for their departments or other governmental units has led to considerable research. Part of this scholarship attempts to identify a causal relationship between monetary incentives and distortions in enforcer behavior. Because enforcer behavior is often unobservable, they rely on proxies like arrests or citations to infer distortions in behavior. I construct a simple model which reveals that in general there is no meaningful relationship between these measures and enforcer incentives or behavior, and therefore these measures may be ‘false proxies’.
Murat C. Mungan,
False proxies for enforcement distortions in “policing for profit” research,
Available at: https://scholarship.law.tamu.edu/facscholar/1919