Temperature and Decisions: Evidence from 207,000 Court Cases

Economics

Speaker:Anthony Heyes, University of Ottawa
Date: Friday 20 October 2017
Time: 15.30
Location: Matrix Lecture Theatre, Building One

Further details

If decisions with lasting consequences are influenced by extraneous or transient factors then welfare can be damaged. We analyse 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 positive decision chances by around 6.5%. 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 welfare-burden of climate change.