Do Black and Hispanic Leaders Make a Difference? Evidence from the Chicago Police Department| WIP Seminar with Taeho Kim

When and Where

Wednesday, February 15, 2023 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm


Assistant Professor Taeho Kim, CIRHR


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Meeting ID: 892 1527 4674
Passcode: 639384

Police departments have sought to increase racial diversity to improve public trust in minority communities. How differently do minority police leaders manage compared to their white counterparts? In this paper, we study the effects of minority police leaders in the context of the Chicago Police Department (CPD), where we exploit a quasi-random daily rotation of high-ranking CPD leaders. We find that, on days when Black and Hispanic (BH) leaders were predicted to work, subordinate officers reduced arrests by 3.3%. When we disaggregate total arrests by the severity of the offense, we find that our results are driven by arrests related to low-level crimes. Arrests for violations (i.e., liquor license, disorderly conduct, municipal code, and traffic violations) decreased by 9.1% of the mean, while we find muted changes for felonies and misdemeanors. Although all sub-categories of violations show decline, disorderly conduct arrests experienced the sharpest decrease (16% of the mean). We do not find changes in arrest quality as measured by the court outcomes of the arrests. The most likely explanation for our results is that, compared to White leaders, BH leaders have different standards of arrests and discourage officers from making low-level arrests.

Dr. Taeho Kim is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources. His research focuses on workplace practices, criminal justice, and labour markets. In one stream of his research, he studies the question of how to improve accountability and performance in criminal justice organizations. For example, how do police officers’ on-the-job performance and career decisions respond to changes in promotion incentives? How do oversight measures such as body cameras and civilian complaint investigations affect police behavior? In another stream of his research, he studies various questions in the economics of human resources and labor markets. In one recent project, he studies the gender pay gap and the extent to which salary negotiation skills affect labor market outcomes.

Our CIRHR Work-In-Progress Seminar series allows members of our community to discuss early-stage research. Future guest speakers include:

  • March 8, Zhen Wang, Department of Scoiology, PhD Student
  • March 29, Shannon Potter, CIRHR PhD Student
  • April 19, William Roelofs, Department of Political Science, PhD Candidate