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Author Archives: Sabrina I. Pacifici

Measuring and Mitigating Racial Disparities in Tax Audits

Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research: Working Paper, Measuring and Mitigating Racial Disparities in Tax Audits. Hadi Elzayn; Evelyn Smith; Thomas Hertz; Arun Ramesh; Robin Fisher; Daniel E. Ho; Jacob Goldin. Publication

“Government agencies around the world use data-driven algorithms to allocate enforcement resources. Even when such algorithms are formally neutral with respect to protected characteristics like race, there is widespread concern that they can disproportionately burden vulnerable groups. We study differences in Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audit rates between Black and non-Black taxpayers. Because neither we nor the IRS observe taxpayer race, we employ a novel partial identification strategy to estimate these differences. Despite race-blind audit selection, we find that Black taxpayers are audited at 2.9 to 4.7 times the rate of non-Black taxpayers. The main source of the disparity is differing audit rates by race among taxpayers claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Using counterfactual audit selection models, we find that maximizing the detection of underreported taxes would not lead to Black taxpayers being audited at higher rates. In contrast, certain policies tend to increase the audit rate of Black taxpayers: (1) designing audit selection algorithms to minimize the “no-change rate”; (2) targeting erroneously claimed refundable credits rather than total under-reporting; and (3) limiting the share of more complex EITC returns that can be selected for audit. Our results highlight how seemingly technocratic choices about algorithmic design can embed important policy values and trade-offs.”

LLRX January 2023 Issue – Articles and Columns

2023 Healthcare MiniGuide – Marcus P. Zillman’s guide addresses the challenging landscape of healthcare information that proliferates on the internet. A large measure of the information hosted on self described authoritative health and healthcare sites is grounded in speculative, e-commerce drive subject matter. Search engines drive traffic to these sites with no transparent and accountable… Continue Reading

Do classified document revelations highlight problems at the National Archives?

The American Prospect – “Presidential Document Scandals Should Take Down America’s Secrecy Industry We classify way too many documents. Unfortunately, that will probably not be the takeaway from recent events. America has a problem with classified information. But this problem isn’t the one you’ve been hearing about for the past few weeks, with the revelations… Continue Reading

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, January 27, 2023

Via LLRX – Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, January 27, 2023 – Privacy and cybersecurity issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the… Continue Reading

Experian Glitch Exposing Credit Files Lasted 47 Days

Krebs on Security: “On Dec. 23, 2022, KrebsOnSecurity alerted big-three consumer credit reporting bureau Experian that identity thieves had worked out how to bypass its security and access any consumer’s full credit report — armed with nothing more than a person’s name, address, date of birth, and Social Security number. Experian fixed the glitch, but… Continue Reading

Time Savings When Working from Home

NBER – Time Savings When Working from Home – Cevat Giray Aksoy, Jose Maria Barrero, Nicholas Bloom, Steven J. Davis, Mathias Dolls & Pablo Zarate. Working Paper 30866. DOI 10.3386/w30866. Issue Date January 2023. “We quantify the commute time savings associated with work from home, drawing on data for 27 countries. The average daily time… Continue Reading

NIST Artificial Intelligence Risk Management Framework

NIST AI 100-1 Artificial Intelligence Risk Management Framework (AI RMF 1.0) January 2023 – “…As directed by the National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Act of 2020 (P.L. 116-283), the goal of the AI RMF is to offer a resource to the organizations designing, developing, deploying, or using AI systems to help manage the many risks of… Continue Reading

Judiciary Studies Use of Online Tool in Presentence Reports

“The Federal Judicial Center (FJC) will soon begin a two-year pilot study of the impact of including data from a U.S. Sentencing Commission online tool in presentence investigation reports used during the sentencing phase of criminal cases. Called the Judiciary Sentencing Information platform (JSIN), the publicly available tool provides five years of cumulative data for… Continue Reading

Demonstrating Law Library Value Through Mission-Centered Assessment

Watson, Amanda and Karel, Amanda and Runyon, Amanda and Street, Leslie, Demonstrating Law Library Value Through Mission-Centered Assessment (December 5, 2022). Law Library Journal (Forthcoming)., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4294285 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4294285 “This paper presents a history of evaluation in U.S. academic law libraries, shares survey results about our collective professional mindset, and offer practical steps… Continue Reading

New Online Tool Provides Health Snapshot of All 435 U.S. Congressional Districts

“Today, researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), unveiled the Congressional District Health Dashboard (CDHD), a new online tool that provides critical health data for all 435 congressional districts and the District of Columbia. The dashboard incorporates 36 key measures of health, such as deaths from… Continue Reading