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Estimating Gender Disparities in Federal Criminal Cases

Estimating Gender Disparities in Federal Criminal Cases This paper assesses and decomposes gender disparities in federal criminal cases. It finds large unexplained gaps favoring women throughout the sentence length distribution, conditional on arrest offense, criminal history, and other pre-charge observables. Decompositions show that most of the unexplained disparity appears to emerge during charging, plea-bargaining, and sentencing fact-finding. The approach provides an important complement to prior disparity studies, which have focused on sentencing and have not incorporated disparities arising from those earlier stages. I also consider various plausible causal theories that could explain the estimated gender gap, using the rich dataset to test their implications. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Law and Economics Review Oxford University Press

Estimating Gender Disparities in Federal Criminal Cases

American Law and Economics Review , Volume 17 (1) – Mar 21, 2015

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Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Law and Economics Association. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissionsoup.com.
ISSN
1465-7252
eISSN
1465-7260
DOI
10.1093/aler/ahu010
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper assesses and decomposes gender disparities in federal criminal cases. It finds large unexplained gaps favoring women throughout the sentence length distribution, conditional on arrest offense, criminal history, and other pre-charge observables. Decompositions show that most of the unexplained disparity appears to emerge during charging, plea-bargaining, and sentencing fact-finding. The approach provides an important complement to prior disparity studies, which have focused on sentencing and have not incorporated disparities arising from those earlier stages. I also consider various plausible causal theories that could explain the estimated gender gap, using the rich dataset to test their implications.

Journal

American Law and Economics ReviewOxford University Press

Published: Mar 21, 2015

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