Do Judges Hate Speculators?

30 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2019

See all articles by Lars Hornuf

Lars Hornuf

University of Bremen - Faculty of Business Studies and Economics; Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Lars Klöhn

Humboldt University of Berlin - Faculty of Law

Date Written: 2018

Abstract

Historically, people have often expressed negative feelings toward speculators, a sentiment that might have even been reinforced since the latest financial crisis, during which taxpayer money was warranted or spent to bail out reckless investors. In this paper, we conjecture that judges may also have anti-speculator sentiment, which might affect their professional decision making. We asked 123 professional lawyers and 247 law students in Germany this question, and they clearly predicted that judges would have an anti-speculator bias. However, in an actual behavioral study, 185 judges did not exhibit such bias. In another sample of 170 professional lawyers, we found weak support for an anti-speculator bias. This evidence suggests that an independent audience may actually perceive unbiased judgments as biased. While the literature usually suggests that a communication problem exists between lawyers and non-lawyers (i.e. between judges and the general public), we find that this problem can also exist within the legal community.

Keywords: speculator bias, judges, experimental law and economics

JEL Classification: C900, K410

Suggested Citation

Hornuf, Lars and Klöhn, Lars, Do Judges Hate Speculators? (2018). CESifo Working Paper No. 7375, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3338704

Lars Hornuf (Contact Author)

University of Bremen - Faculty of Business Studies and Economics ( email )

Bremen, D-28359
Germany
+49 89 20348619 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.hornuf.com

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition ( email )

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, Bayern 80539
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Lars Klöhn

Humboldt University of Berlin - Faculty of Law ( email )

Unter den Linden 6
Berlin, D-10099
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.rewi.hu-berlin.de/en/lf/ls/kln

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