Converting Sentiments to Dollars: Scaling and Incommensurability Problems in the Evaluation of Child Support Payments
Sanford L. Braver
Arizona State University (ASU) - Department of Psychology
Stanford Law School
Ira Mark Ellman
Arizona State University College of Law; Arizona State University (ASU) - Department of Psychology; Center for the Study of Law and Society, Berkeley Law, University of California, Berkeley
April 15, 2008
3rd Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Papers
We examine how ordinary citizens translate intuitions about child welfare and distributive justice into dollar amounts for post-divorce child support payments. Our analyses indicate that child support judgments are quite sensitive to anchoring and question-wording effects. Nevertheless, we find much that is both interpretable and principled in these judgments. For example, the amounts that citizens recommended in an open-ended format ("name") were nearly identical to the amounts other citizens selected from an array of choices in a multiple choice format ("choose").
Number of Pages in PDF File: 41
Date posted: April 16, 2008 ; Last revised: September 9, 2008
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