When in Rome... On Local Norms and Sentencing Decisions

50 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2019

See all articles by Roberto Galbiati

Roberto Galbiati

Department of Economics, Sciences Po-CNRS

Emeric Henry

Sciences Po

Arnaud Philippe

University of Bristol

David Abrams

University of Pennsylvania

Date Written: March 2019

Abstract

In this paper, we show that sentencing norms vary widely even across geographically close units. By examining North Carolina's unique judicial rotation system, we show that judges arriving in a new court gradually converge to local sentencing norms. We document factors that facilitate this convergence and show that sentencing norms are predicted by preferences of the local constituents. We build on these empirical results to analyze theoretically the delegation trade-off faced by a social planner: the judge can learn the local norm, but only at the cost of potential capture.

Keywords: delegation, Judicial Decision Making, Laws, norms

Suggested Citation

Galbiati, Roberto and Henry, Emeric and Philippe, Arnaud and Abrams, David, When in Rome... On Local Norms and Sentencing Decisions (March 2019). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP13587. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3354453

Roberto Galbiati

Department of Economics, Sciences Po-CNRS ( email )

28 rue des saints peres
Paris, 75007
France

Emeric Henry

Sciences Po ( email )

27 rue Saint-Guillaume
Paris Cedex 07, 75337
France

Arnaud Philippe (Contact Author)

University of Bristol ( email )

University of Bristol,
Senate House, Tyndall Avenue
Bristol, BS8 ITH
United Kingdom

David Abrams

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
1
Abstract Views
38
PlumX Metrics