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Do sentencing guidelines result in lower inter-judge disparity? Evidence from framed field experiment

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  • Cécile Bourreau-Dubois

    (BETA - Bureau d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg - UL - Université de Lorraine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

  • Myriam Doriat-Duban

    (BETA - Bureau d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg - UL - Université de Lorraine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

  • Bruno Jeandidier

    (BETA - Bureau d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg - UL - Université de Lorraine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

  • Jean Ray

    (BETA - Bureau d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg - UL - Université de Lorraine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

Abstract

We study decision-making of judges in an experimental settingresembling real world judicial decision making.We gave to 312 future judges48 vignettes built from real datarelated to divorce cases involving children. Wecompare two different subject pools: judges who were asked to set child support awards with a guideline andjudgeswho were asked to set child support awardswithout any guideline.We foundthat the introductionof a guideline contributes to reduce the disparity between judges (i.e. the variance for like cases is lower when the subjects have the opportunity to use the guideline) but this effect is not systematic, an increase in heterogeneity being observed for some specific cases.

Suggested Citation

  • Cécile Bourreau-Dubois & Myriam Doriat-Duban & Bruno Jeandidier & Jean Ray, 2020. "Do sentencing guidelines result in lower inter-judge disparity? Evidence from framed field experiment," Post-Print hal-02978348, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-02978348
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.univ-lorraine.fr/hal-02978348
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Max M. Schanzenbach & Emerson H. Tiller, 2007. "Strategic Judging Under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines: Positive Political Theory and Evidence," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(1), pages 24-56, April.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Controlled experiment; Field experiment; Judicial sentencing; Child support;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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