Department of Economics
University of California, Riverside
Riverside, CA 92521
Institutional Affiliation: University of California at Riverside
Information about this author at RePEc
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|December 2018||The Effect of Grade Retention on Adult Crime: Evidence from a Test-Based Promotion Policy|
with Michael F. Lovenheim, Naci H. Mocan: w25384
This paper presents the first analysis in the literature of the effect of test-based grade retention on adult criminal convictions. We exploit math and English test cutoffs for promotion to ninth grade in Louisiana using administrative data on all public K-12 students combined with administrative data on all criminal convictions in the state. Our preferred models use the promotion discontinuity as an instrument for grade retention, and we find that being retained in eighth grade has large long-run effects on the likelihood of being convicted of a crime by age 25 and on the number of criminal convictions by age 25. Effects are largest for violent crimes: the likelihood of being convicted increases by 1.05 percentage points, or 58.44%, when students are retained in eighth grade. Our data all...
|July 2017||Juvenile Punishment, High School Graduation and Adult Crime: Evidence from Idiosyncratic Judge Harshness|
with Naci Mocan: w23573
This paper contributes to the debate on the impact of juvenile punishment on adult criminal recidivism and high school completion. We link the universe of case files of those who were convicted of a crime as a juvenile between 1996 and 2012 in a southern U.S. state to the public school administrative records and to adult criminal records. The detail of the data allows us to utilize information on the exact types of crimes committed, as well as the type and duration of punishment imposed, both as a juvenile and as an adult. We exploit random assignment of cases to judges and use idiosyncratic judge stringency in imprisonment to estimate the causal effect of incarceration on adult crime and on high school completion. Incarceration has a detrimental impact on high school completion for earlie...
|September 2016||Emotional Judges and Unlucky Juveniles|
with Naci Mocan: w22611
Employing the universe of juvenile court decisions in a U.S. state between 1996 and 2012, we analyze the effects of emotional shocks associated with unexpected outcomes of football games played by a prominent college team in the state. We investigate the behavior of judges, the conduct of whom should, by law, be free of personal biases and emotions. We find that unexpected losses increase disposition (sentence) lengths assigned by judges during the week following the game. Unexpected wins, or losses that were expected to be close contests ex-ante, have no impact. The effects of these emotional shocks are asymmetrically borne by black defendants. We present evidence that the results are not influenced by defendant or attorney behavior or by defendants’ economic background. Importantly, the...
Published: Ozkan Eren & Naci Mocan, 2018. "Emotional Judges and Unlucky Juveniles," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, vol 10(3), pages 171-205.
|February 2016||Judges, Juveniles and In-group Bias|
with Briggs Depew, Naci Mocan: w22003
We investigate the existence of in-group bias (preferential treatment of one’s own group) in court decisions. Using the universe of juvenile court cases in a U.S. state between 1996 and 2012 and exploiting random assignment of juvenile defendants to judges, we find evidence for negative racial in-group bias in judicial decisions. All else the same, black (white) juveniles who are randomly assigned to black (white) judges are more likely to get incarcerated (as opposed to being placed on probation), and they receive longer sentences. Although observed in experimental settings, this is the first empirical evidence of negative in-group bias, based on a randomization design outside of the lab. Explanations for this finding are provided.
Published: Briggs Depew & Ozkan Eren & Naci Mocan, 2017. "Judges, Juveniles, and In-Group Bias," The Journal of Law and Economics, vol 60(2), pages 209-239.