We conducted a series of sender–receiver experiments to study the consequences of implementing a regime of blind proficiency tests in forensic science to reduce error rates and improve the criminal justice system. Senders are our surrogate for forensic laboratories and receivers, for the judge or jury. Our experimental surrogate (random audits with a penalty) for blind proficiency tests reduced sender error rates by as much as 46% depending on the level of experimentally induced bias. When penalties improve information quality, receiver error rates fell by as much as 26% depending on the level of the sender bias. We also find that the penalty must be large relative to the payoff to induce the reduction in errors. Our results suggest that a regime of blind proficiency testing has the potential to reduce forensic science errors.
The Review of Austrian Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 3, 2010
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