Temperature and Decisions: Evidence from 207,000 Court Cases
- American Economic Journal: Applied Economics (Forthcoming)
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 10F degree increase in case-day temperature reduces decisions favorable to the applicant by 6.55%. 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.'
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