Month: May 2024

Arrest rates by race reflect crime rates by race

There is no dispute that there are large racial disparities in arrest rates in the United States, particularly between blacks and whites. The most natural inference to draw from this data is that these racial disparities in arrest rates are caused by racial disparities in crime rates. However, some argue that this natural inference is either incorrect or unjustified. They argue that racial differences in arrest rates may not reflect racial differences in crime rates, e.g. arrests by police may be biased, the crime data reporting may be biased, etc. In this post, I will provide data showing that the natural inference is in fact correct and justified. There is ample independent data showing that FBI-reported arrest rates by race are accurate reflections of true crime rates by race.