RSVP: Ideas Have Consequences: The Impact of Law & Economics on American Justice— Thurs, Nov. 14, 2019
The MIT Governance Lab (MIT GOV/LAB) is a group of political scientists focusing on innovation in citizen engagement and government responsiveness. More online at http://www.mitgovlab.org/.
DANIEL L. CHEN, Institute for Advanced Studies in Toulouse (IAST)
This paper provides a quantitative analysis of the effects of the early law and economics movement on the U.S. judiciary. Using the universe of published opinions in U.S. Circuit Courts and 1 million District Court criminal sentencing decisions linked to judge identity, we estimate the effect of attendance in the controversial Manne economics training program, an intensive course attended by almost half of federal judges between 1976 and 1999. After attending economics training, participating judges use more economics language, render more conservative verdicts in economics cases, rule against regulatory/taxation agencies more often, and impose longer criminal sentences. These results are robust to adjusting for a wide variety of covariates that predict the timing of attendance. Non-Manne judges randomly exposed to Manne peers on previous cases increase their use of economics language in subsequent opinions, suggesting economics ideas diffused throughout the judiciary.
Details
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2019
10:00 – 11:00 AM | Room E53-482
30 Wadsworth St., Cambridge, MA

Refreshments provided.
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