Quintanar to launch fall “Plain Talk on Race and Ethnicity” lecture series

Dr. Sarah Quintanar, associate professor of economics and associate faculty member for the Anderson Institute, will give her talk, “Uncovering Data: How Ordinary Police Work Can Provide Insights on Critical Influences and Bias,” at noon Wednesday, Sept. 26, in Ottenheimer Library Room 202.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock Anderson Institute on Race and Ethnicity will kick off its 2018 lecture series with a talk on how to use objective measures to determine the existence of potential bias in police behaviors. 

Dr. Sarah Quintanar, associate professor of economics and associate faculty member for the Anderson Institute, will give her talk, “Uncovering Data: How Ordinary Police Work Can Provide Insights on Critical Influences and Bias,” at noon Wednesday, Sept. 26, in Ottenheimer Library Room 202.

Quintanar will discuss how automated traffic systems can provide a useful baseline in analyses of police behavior. She conducted a case study comparing the population of computer-issued speeding tickets to those issued by police in a southern Louisiana town. The computer-issued tickets represent an objective measure of speeding tickets issued. This number is compared to police-issued tickets to provide evidence of gender and racial bias. This analysis is vital not only to determine the existence of bias, but also to better understand critical influences in a police officer’s decision to ticket a driver who has been speeding.

“The original goal of the study is to see if there is disparity by race or gender in the speeding tickets issued,” Quintanar said. “I will broaden that idea and talk about how we can use different data sources in different settings to identify racial and gender disparities. I want the audience to think about other data sources that can be used to answer these questions.”

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Anderson Institute at 501-569-8932 or race-ethnicity@ualr.edu.

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