Temperature and Decisions: Evidence from 207,000 Court Cases
|Speaker:||Anthony Heyes, University of Ottawa|
|Date: ||Friday 20 October 2017|
|Location: ||Matrix Lecture Theatre, Building One|
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.