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Temperature and Decisions: Evidence from 207,000 Court Cases

Anthony Heyes and Soodeh Saberian

American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 2019, vol. 11, issue 2, 238-65

Abstract: We analyze the impact of outdoor temperature on high-stakes decisions (immigration adjudications) made by professional decision-makers (US immigration judges). In our preferred specification, which includes spatial, temporal, and judge fixed effects, and controls for various potential confounders, a 10°F degree increase in case-day temperature reduces decisions favorable to the applicant by 6.55 percent. This is despite judgements being made indoors, "protected" by climate control. Results are consistent with established links from temperature to mood and risk appetite and have important implications for evaluating the influence of climate on "cognitive output."

JEL-codes: K37 K41 Q54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.20170223
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