IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ulp/sbbeta/2020-28.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

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

Author

Listed:
  • Cécile Bourreau-Dubois
  • Myriam Doriat-Duban
  • Bruno Jeandidier
  • Jean Claude Ray

Abstract

We study decision-making of judges in an experimental setting resembling real world judicial decision making. We gave to 312 future judges 48 vignettes built from real data related to divorce cases involving children. We compare two different subject pools: judges who were asked to set child support awards with a guideline and judges who were asked to set child support awards without any guideline. We found that the introduction of 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 Claude Ray, 2020. "Do sentencing guidelines result in lower inter-judge disparity? Evidence from framed field experiment," Working Papers of BETA 2020-28, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
  • Handle: RePEc:ulp:sbbeta:2020-28
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://beta.u-strasbg.fr/WP/2020/2020-28.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    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.
    2. Ioana Marinescu, 2011. "Are Judges Sensitive to Economic Conditions? Evidence from Uk Employment Tribunals," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 64(4), pages 673-698, July.
    3. Zhuang Liu, 2018. "Does Reason Writing Reduce Decision Bias? Experimental Evidence from Judges in China," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(1), pages 83-118.
    4. M. Marit Rehavi & Sonja B. Starr, 2014. "Racial Disparity in Federal Criminal Sentences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(6), pages 1320-1354.
    5. Anderson, James M & Kling, Jeffrey R & Stith, Kate, 1999. "Measuring Interjedge Sentencing Disparity: Before and After the Federal Sentencing Guidelines," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(1), pages 271-307, April.
    6. LaCasse, Chantale & Payne, A Abigail, 1999. "Federal Sentencing Guidelines and Mandatory Minimum Sentences: Do Defendants Bargain in the Shadow of the Judge?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(1), pages 245-269, April.
    7. Laura M. Argys & H. Elizabeth Peters & Donald M. Waldman, 2001. "Can the Family Support Act Put Some Life Back into Deadbeat Dads?: An Analysis of Child-Support Guidelines, Award Rates, and Levels," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(2), pages 226-252.
    8. Alma Cohen & Crystal S. Yang, 2019. "Judicial Politics and Sentencing Decisions," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 160-191, February.
    9. David S. Abrams & Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2012. "Do Judges Vary in Their Treatment of Race?," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 347-383.
    10. 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.
    11. Waldfogel, Joel, 1998. "Does inter-judge disparity justify empirically based sentencing guidelines?," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 293-304, September.
    12. Todd Sorensen & Supriya Sarnikar & Ronald L. Oaxaca, 2012. "Race and Gender Differences under Federal Sentencing Guidelines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 256-260, May.
    13. Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer, 2008. "Judicial Fact Discretion," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(1), pages 1-35, January.
    14. Boulu-Reshef, Béatrice & Comeig, Irene & Donze, Robert & Weiss, Gregory D., 2016. "Risk aversion in prediction markets: A framed-field experiment," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(11), pages 5071-5075.
    15. Crystal S. Yang, 2015. "Free at Last? Judicial Discretion and Racial Disparities in Federal Sentencing," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(1), pages 75-111.
    16. Joshua B. Fischman & Max M. Schanzenbach, 2012. "Racial Disparities Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines: The Role of Judicial Discretion and Mandatory Minimums," Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 9(4), pages 729-764, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Chen, Daniel L. & Prescott, J.J., 2016. "Implicit Egoism in Sentencing Decisions: First Letter Name Effects with Randomly Assigned Defendants," IAST Working Papers 16-56, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (IAST).
    2. Claudine Desrieux & Romain Espinosa, 2020. "Scale for capped damages in case of unfair dismissal: some empirical evidence [La Barémisation des indemnités pour licenciement abusif: Quelques Eléments d'Analyse Empirique]," Post-Print halshs-02307212, HAL.
    3. Nicolás Grau & Damián Vergara, "undated". "A Simple Test for Prejudice in Decision Processes: The Prediction-Based Outcome Test," Working Papers wp493, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
    4. Thomas J. Miceli, 2008. "Criminal Sentencing Guidelines And Judicial Discretion," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(2), pages 207-215, April.
    5. Shepherd, Joanna M, 2002. "Police, Prosecutors, Criminals, and Determinate Sentencing: The Truth about Truth-in-Sentencing Laws," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(2), pages 509-534, October.
    6. Crystal S. Yang, 2015. "Free at Last? Judicial Discretion and Racial Disparities in Federal Sentencing," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(1), pages 75-111.
    7. Richard T. Boylan, 2012. "The Effect of Punishment Severity on Plea Bargaining," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(3), pages 565-591.
    8. Shamena Anwar & Hanming Fang, 2015. "Testing for Racial Prejudice in the Parole Board Release Process: Theory and Evidence," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(1), pages 1-37.
    9. Briggs Depew & Ozkan Eren & Naci Mocan, 2017. "Judges, Juveniles, and In-Group Bias," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60(2), pages 209-239.
    10. Cahuc, Pierre & Carcillo, Stéphane & Moreau, Flavien & PATAULT, Bérengère, 2020. "Judge Bias in Labor Courts and Firm Performance," CEPR Discussion Papers 15399, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Max M. Schanzenbach, 2015. "Racial Disparities, Judge Characteristics, and Standards of Review in Sentencing," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 171(1), pages 27-47, March.
    12. Vickers, Chris, 2016. "Socioeconomic status and judicial disparities in England and Wales, 1870–1910," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 32-53.
    13. Max Schanzenbach, 2005. "Racial and Sex Disparities in Prison Sentences: The Effect of District-Level Judicial Demographics," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(1), pages 57-92, January.
    14. Dougherty, Shaun & Goodman, Joshua & Hill, Darryl & Litke, Erica & Page, Lindsay C., 2015. "Early Math Coursework and College Readiness: Evidence from Targeted Middle School Math Acceleration," Working Paper Series rwp15-044, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    15. Sultan Mehmood, 2020. "Judicial Independence and Development: Evidence from Pakistan," Working Papers halshs-03054106, HAL.
    16. Sultan Mehmood, 2021. "The impact of Presidential appointment of judges: Montesquieu or the Federalists?," AMSE Working Papers 2118, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, France.
    17. Wayne Geerling & Gary Magee & Vinod Mishra & Russell Smyth, 2018. "Hitler's Judges: Ideological Commitment and the Death Penalty in Nazi Germany," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(614), pages 2414-2449, September.
    18. Shi, Ying & Zhu, Maria, 2021. "Equal Time for Equal Crime? Racial Bias in School Discipline," IZA Discussion Papers 14306, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    19. Joshua B. Fischman & Max M. Schanzenbach, 2011. "Do Standards of Review Matter? The Case of Federal Criminal Sentencing," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(2), pages 405-437.
    20. Dougherty, Shaun M. & Goodman, Joshua S. & Hill, Darryl V. & Litke, Erica G. & Page, Lindsay C., 2017. "Objective course placement and college readiness: Evidence from targeted middle school math acceleration," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 141-161.

    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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ulp:sbbeta:2020-28. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/bestrfr.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask the person in charge to update the entry or send us the correct address (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/bestrfr.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.