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Holger Spamann, Comment on "Temperature and Decisions: Evidence from 207,000 Court Cases", 14 Am. Econ. J.: Applied Econ. 519 (2022).

Abstract: Heyes and Saberian (2019) estimate from 2000–2004 data that outdoor temperature reduces US immigration judges’ propensity to grant asylum. This estimate is the result of coding and data errors and of sample selection. Correcting the errors reduces the point estimate by two-thirds, with a wide 95 percent confidence interval straddling zero. Enlarging the sample to 1990–2019 flips the point estimate’s sign and rules out the effect size reported by Heyes and Saberian with very high confidence. An analysis of all criminal sentencing decisions by US federal district judges from 1992 to 2003 yields no evidence of temperature or other weather effects either.