Ideological Perfectionism

Chen, Daniel L., Michaeli, Moti and Spiro, Daniel (2016) Ideological Perfectionism. TSE Working Paper, n. 16-694

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Official URL: http://tse-fr.eu/pub/30796

Abstract

Studying a high-stakes field setting, we examine which individuals, on an ideological scale, conform more to the opinion of others. In the U.S. Courts of Appeals, legal precedents are set by ideologically diverse and randomly composed panels of judges. Using exogenous predictors of ideology and rich voting data we show that ideological disagreements drive dissents against the panel’s decision, but ideologically extreme judges are caving in: they are the least likely to dissent and their voting records are the least correlated with their predicted ideology. Meanwhile, moderately ideological judges are dissenting the most despite evidence that they are more often determining the opinion. Our theoretical analysis shows that these findings are most consistent with a model of decision making in the presence of peer pressure with a concave cost of deviating from one’s ideological convictions – perfectionism. This result presents a critique of a standard assumption in economics – that the cost of deviating from one’s bliss point is convex – with fundamental implications for decision making in social and political settings and for the empirical predictions of theoretical models in these domains.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Language: English
Date: September 2016
Uncontrolled Keywords: Judicial decision making, group decision making, ideology, peer pressure
JEL codes: D7 - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
K00 - General
Z1 - Cultural Economics; Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology
Subjects: B- ECONOMIE ET FINANCE
Divisions: TSE-R (Toulouse)
Institution: Université Toulouse Capitole
Site: UT1
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2016 08:30
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2018 13:23
OAI ID: oai:tse-fr.eu:30796
URI: http://publications.ut-capitole.fr/id/eprint/22361

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