Shamena Anwar

Shamena Anwar
Senior Economist


Ph.D. in economics, Yale University; B.A. in economics, UC Berkeley

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email

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Shamena Anwar is senior economist at RAND. Her main research areas include evaluating criminal justice system reforms and studying racial disparities. She has also conducted research related to the military justice system and the immigration process. Her recently published research has examined the role that race plays at all stages of the criminal justice system, and has also evaluated the impacts of diversion programs, as well as the impact of providing defense representation at bail hearings. She has done a series of projects investigating the impact that jury characteristics such as race, age, zip code, and political party have on civil and criminal trial outcomes. Her previous research has used a wide range of research designs to assess causal effects and has been published in journals including the American Economic Review, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Science Advances, and The Journal of Law and Economics. She received her Ph.D. in economics from Yale University.

Selected Publications

Shamena Anwar, Shawn Bushway, John Engberg, "The Impact of Defense Counsel at Bail Hearings," Science Advances, 9(18), 2023

Shamena Anwar, Patrick Bayer, Randi Hjalmarsson, "Unequal Jury Representation and Its Consequences," American Economic Review: Insights, 4(2), 2022

Shamena Anwar, Patrick Bayer, Randi Hjalmarsson, "The Impact of Jury Race in Criminal Trials," Quarterly Journal of Economics, 127(2), 2012

Shamena Anwar, John Engberg, Yamanda Wright, Megan Comfort, Monica Sheppard, Ashley Lowe, Creating a Path Forward to Reduce Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System in Allegheny County, University of Pittsburgh Institute of Politics, 2023

Shamena Anwar, Hanming Fang, "An Alternative Test of Racial Prejudice in Motor Vehicle Searches: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, 96(1), 2006

Shamena Anwar, Patrick Bayer, and Randi Hjalmarsson, "The Role of Age in Jury Selection and Trial Outcomes," Journal of Law and Economics, 57(4), 2014

Shamena Anwar Hanming Fang, "Testing for Racial Prejudice in the Parole Board Release Process: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Legal Studies, 44, 2015

Shamena Anwar, Patrick Bayer, Randi Hjalmarsson, "Politics and Peer Effects in the Courtroom," Journal of the European Economic Association (forthcoming)

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: WESA (NPR) - Pittsburgh, PA