Judicial Ingroup Bias in the Shadow of Terrorism

39 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2010 Last revised: 27 Oct 2010

See all articles by Moses Shayo

Moses Shayo

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics

Asaf Zussman

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics

Date Written: August 5, 2010

Abstract

We study ingroup bias -- the preferential treatment of members of one's group -- in naturally occurring data, where economically significant allocation decisions are made under a strong non-discriminatory norm. Data come from Israeli small claims courts during 2000-2004, where the assignment of a case to an Arab or Jewish judge is effectively random. We find robust evidence for judicial ingroup bias. Furthermore, this bias is strongly associated with terrorism intensity in the vicinity of the court in the year preceding the ruling. The results are consistent with theory and lab evidence according to which salience of group membership enhances social identification.

Keywords: judicial decisions, social identity, ingroup bias, terrorism, ethnicity, discrimination

JEL Classification: D03, D71, J15, K4, Z13

Suggested Citation

Shayo, Moses and Zussman, Asaf, Judicial Ingroup Bias in the Shadow of Terrorism (August 5, 2010). Quarterly Journal of Economics, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1639855 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1639855

Moses Shayo (Contact Author)

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics ( email )

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91905
Israel

Asaf Zussman

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics ( email )

Israel

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