If you’re a criminal defendant, it may help—a lot—to be a woman. At least, that’s what Prof. Sonja Starr’s research on federal criminal cases suggests. Prof. Starr’s recent paper, “Estimating Gender Disparities in Federal Criminal Cases,” looks closely at a large dataset of federal cases, and reveals some significant findings. After controlling for the arrest offense, criminal history, and other prior characteristics, “men receive 63% longer sentences on average than women do,” and “[w]omen are…twice as likely to avoid incarceration if convicted.” This gender gap is about six times as large as the racial disparity that Prof. Starr found in another recent paper.
Following Instapundit’s link to the article (emphasis mine):
Prof. Starr emphasized that it is not possible to “prove” gender discrimination with data like hers, because it is always possible that two seemingly similar cases could differ in ways not captured by the data. Given the size of the apparent gender gap and the richness of the dataset (which allowed many alternative explanations to be explored), however, Starr believes that there is “pretty good reason to suspect that disparate treatment may be one of the causes of this gap.”
Undoubtably, this is true. But I can’t help but wonder, when will the wage gap crowd admit this about their data? Women not choosing the same jobs as men could possibly be an important fact.
On another note, Rollo Tomassi finished his second book, The Rational Male ~ Preventive Medicine.