School of Economics and Finance

Professor Rajiv Sethi (Columbia University): Stereotypes, Crime and Justice

17 May 2017

Time: 3:00 - 4:15pm
Venue: GC305

Crime and Punishment in a Divided Society [PDF 309KB]

Abstract: This talk will provide an overview of trends in crime and punishment in the United States over the past few decades, with particular attention to racial disparities in offending, victimization, arrest, and incarceration. A key theme is the role of stereotypes in conditioning interactions between victims and offenders, parties to disputes, officers and suspects, and witnesses and prosecutors. In particular, stereotypes are important in accounting for patterns in the data on robbery, homicide, and officer-involved shootings. Stereotypes can also facilitate the interpretation of incentive-based phenomena in essentialist terms, and thus affect attitudes towards mass incarceration within the general public. The relevance of these arguments for other societies with a history of hierarchical organization will be discussed.

About Professor Rajiv Sethi

Rajiv Sethi joined the faculty of Barnard College, Columbia University in 1995. He is currently on the editorial board of the American Economic Review and the external faculty at the Santa Fe Institute.

Professor Sethi's research and teaching is focused primarily on finance, inequality, crime, and communication. In recent work, he has examined segregation in neighborhoods and social networks, stereotyping in economic interactions, disparities across groups in crime victimization and incarceration, and the transmission across generations of group inequality.