The Status Quo Theory of Depletion Does Not Explain the Israeli Parole Decisions
17 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2019
Date Written: December 3, 2017
Danziger et al. (2011a) showed that the parole decisions of an Israeli court of parole are influenced by judicially extraneous factors such as the time of day the case is heard. It was suggested in the paper that the cyclical parole frequencies could be explained by a status quo theory of depletion, but it did not test the theory in the data. We first show that the statistical model used in Danziger et al. (2011a) can be interpreted as a behavioral model of a depletion process. Under this interpretation, the status quo theory is inconsistent with the reported results. The statistical model however imposes a restrictive assumption of depletion processes that are uniform across judges. Individual specific depletion processes, which is suggested by theory and supported by the data, affect the measurement of a key test statistic. Allowing for judge specific depletion processes, the evidence is more mixed, but we find overall little support for the status quo theory of depletion.
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