Mood and the Malleability of Moral Reasoning

62 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2016 Last revised: 10 Feb 2020

See all articles by Daniel L. Chen

Daniel L. Chen

Directeur de Recherche, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Toulouse School of Economics, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, University of Toulouse Capitole, Toulouse, France

Markus Loecher

Berlin School of Economics and Law

Date Written: September 21, 2019

Abstract

We detect intra-judge variation spanning three decades in 1.5 million judicial decisions driven by factors unrelated to case merits. U.S. immigration judges deny an additional 1.4% of asylum petitions–and U.S. district judges assign 0.6% longer prison sentences and 5% shorter probation sentences—on the day after their city’s NFL team lost. Bad weather has a similar effect as a team loss. Unrepresented parties in asylum bear the brunt of NFL effects, and the effect on district judges appears larger for those likely to be following the NFL team. We employ double residualization for a “causal” importance score.

Suggested Citation

Chen, Daniel L. and Loecher, Markus, Mood and the Malleability of Moral Reasoning (September 21, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2740485 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2740485

Daniel L. Chen (Contact Author)

Directeur de Recherche, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Toulouse School of Economics, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, University of Toulouse Capitole, Toulouse, France ( email )

Toulouse School of Economics
1, Esplanade de l'Université
Toulouse, 31080
France

Markus Loecher

Berlin School of Economics and Law ( email )

Badensche Strasse 50-51
Berlin, D-10825
Germany

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