How to improve forensic science

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Some institutional structures for inquiry produce better approximations to truth than others. The current institutional structure of police forensics gives each lab a monopoly in the analysis of the police evidence it receives. Forensic workers have inadequate incentives to produce reliable analyses of police evidence. Competition would create such incentives. I outline a system of "competitive self regulation" for police forensics.Each jurisdiction would have several competing forensic labs. Evidence would be divided and sent to one, two, or three separate labs.Chance would determine which labs and how many would receive evidence to analyze.Competitive selfregulation improves forensics by creating incentives for error detection and reducing incentives to produce biased analyses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-286
Number of pages32
JournalEuropean Journal of Law and Economics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Bias
  • Expert witnesses
  • Forensic science
  • Innocence
  • Wrongful conviction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Law


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