Skip to content

Daniel M. Klerman & Holger Spamann, Law Matters -- Less Than We Thought, J. L., Econ., & Org. (2022).

Abstract: In a pre-registered 2 × 2 × 2 factorial between-subject randomized lab experiment with 61 federal judges, we test if the law influences judicial decisions, if it does so more under a rule than under a standard, and how its influence compares to that of legally irrelevant sympathies. Participating judges received realistic materials and a relatively long period of time (50 min) to decide an auto accident case. We find at best weak evidence that the law matters or that rules constrain more than standards, and no evidence of a sympathy effect. (JEL K00, K13, K40, K41)