Measuring Interjedge Sentencing Disparity: Before and After the Federal Sentencing Guidelines
This paper evaluates the impact of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines on interjudge sentencing disparity, which is defined as the differences in average nominal prison sentence lengths for comparable caseloads assigned to different judges. This disparity is measured as the dispersion of a random effect in a zero-inflated negative binomial model. The results show that the expected difference between two typical judges in the average sentence length was about 17 percent (or 4.9 months) in 1986-87 prior to the Guidelines and fell to about 11 percent (or 3.9 months) in 1988-93 during the early years of the Guidelines. We have not sought to measure the effect of parole in the pre-Guidelines period, other sources of disparity such as prosecutorial discretion, or the proportionality of punishment under the Guidelines as compared with the pre-Guidelines era. Copyright 1999 by the University of Chicago.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Lott, John R, Jr, 1992. "Do We Punish High Income Criminals Too Heavily?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(4), pages 583-608, October.
- Payne, A. Abigail, 1997. "Does inter-judge disparity really matter? An analysis of the effects of sentencing reforms in three federal district courts," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 337-366, September.
- Hausman, Jerry & Hall, Bronwyn H & Griliches, Zvi, 1984.
"Econometric Models for Count Data with an Application to the Patents-R&D Relationship,"
Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 909-938, July.
- Jerry A. Hausman & Bronwyn H. Hall & Zvi Griliches, 1984. "Econometric Models for Count Data with an Application to the Patents-R&D Relationship," NBER Technical Working Papers 0017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Mullahy, John, 1986. "Specification and testing of some modified count data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 341-365, December.
- N/A, 1997. "Letter To Editor," Energy & Environment, , vol. 8(2), pages 177-177, June.
- Lott, John R, Jr & Bronars, Stephen G, 1993. "Time Series Evidence on Shirking in the U.S. House of Representatives," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 76(1-2), pages 125-149, June. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)