This Morning's Breakfast, Last Night's Game: Detecting Extraneous Factors in Judging

Chen, Daniel L. (2016) This Morning's Breakfast, Last Night's Game: Detecting Extraneous Factors in Judging. IAST working paper, n. 16-49, Toulouse

[img]
Preview
Text
Download (244kB) | Preview
Official URL: http://iast.fr/pub/31020

Abstract

I detect intra-judge variation in judicial decisions driven by factors completely unrelated 5 to the merits of the case, or to any case characteristic for that matter. Concretely, I show that asylum 6 grant rates in U.S. immigration courts differ by the success of the court city’s NFL team on the night 7 before, and by the city’s weather on the day of, the decision. My data including half a million decisions 8 spanning two decades allows me to exclude confounding factors, such as scheduling and seasonal effects. 9 Most importantly, my design holds the identity of the judge constant. On average, U.S. immigration 10 judges grant an additional 1.5% of asylum petitions on the day after their city’s NFL team won, relative 11 to days after the team lost. Bad weather on the day of the decision has approximately the opposite effect. 12 By way of comparison, the average grant rate is 39%. In contrast, I do not find comparable effects in 13 sentencing decisions of U.S. District Courts, and speculate that this may be due to higher quality of the 14 federal judges, more time for deliberation, or the constraining effect of the federal sentencing guidelines.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Language: English
Date: 2016
Place of Publication: Toulouse
Subjects: B- ECONOMIE ET FINANCE
Divisions: TSE-R (Toulouse)
Institution: Université Toulouse 1 Capitole
Site: UT1
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2018 07:47
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2018 07:52
OAI ID: oai:tse-fr.eu:31020
URI: http://publications.ut-capitole.fr/id/eprint/26148

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item