Research in Economics: Law Enforcement Leaders and The Racial Composition of Arrests

George Bulman, Ph.D.In the second lecture in this year’s theme, Seeking Justice in a Divided Nation, the Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business & Economics welcomed Dr. George Bulman, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of California, who presented his research entitled “Law Enforcement Leaders and The Racial Composition of Arrests.”

Dr. Bulman introduces a novel avenue of study for understanding the mechanisms behind racial discrimination in law enforcement. He will explain a new 25‐year panel history of the race of every U.S. sheriff to shed light on the potentially important role of managers who make hiring decisions and set departmental priorities. Comparing agencies that experience racial transitions to agencies with overlapping jurisdictions reveals that the ratio of Black‐to‐White arrests is significantly higher under White sheriffs. Heterogeneity analysis indicates that the effects are driven by arrests for less‐serious offenses and by targeting Black crime types.

Dr. Bulman’s paper can be found at this link | You can watch his presentation here on YouTube

George Bulman is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Prof. Bulman is a public economist who specializes in evaluating the effects of local and federal policies using large administrative data sets. His research examines topics such as the factors that shape the college enrollment decisions of low-income students and the role of race in law enforcement. His papers have been published in leading economics journals, including the Journal of Public Economics, the Journal of Labor Economics, and the American Economic Journal. Prior to joining the faculty at U.C. Santa Cruz, he earned a B.S. at Haverford College and Ph.D. at Stanford University.

The Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business & Economics attracts Allegheny’s next generation of business innovators and entrepreneurs by providing a host of co-curricular activities that connect with and deepen their classroom experiences. The Lunchtime Learning Lecture Series provides students with opportunities to gain valuable information on topics and industries related to internships and careers.