Are Residential Electricity Consumers Utility Maximizers? Evidence from a Natural Experiment (with Katrina Jessoe and David Rapson) (under review) [open in PDF]
ABSTRACT: We examine a choice setting in which residential electricity consumers may respond to incentives other than contemporaneous prices. We test predictions from the standard model of utility maximization using data from a natural field experiment that exposed some households to a change in their electricity rates. Households reduce electricity usage in response to a decrease in electricity prices, suggesting that factors aside from price influence customer choice. An understanding of household behavior in energy markets is essential for the effective implementation of climate change mitigation policy. Documenting this and similar results is a necessary step in achieving such an understanding.
A Multidimensional Examination of Jury Composition, Trial Outcomes, and Attorney Preferences (with Jee-Yeon K. Lehmann)
ABSTRACT: We assess the degree to which seated juries in criminal trials might fall short of the constitutional ideal of impartiality. We first ask if certain demographic and socioeconomic characteristics are related to pre-deliberation biases that individual jurors hold or to the verdicts at which juries arrive collectively. We do not focus solely on race, but also jointly consider other characteristics – sex, age, religiousness, education, and income – that existing literature has largely neglected. We also place the size of the jury composition effects on verdicts in the context of the strength of the evidence presented in the courtroom, and further, we assess whether attorneys are aware of the relations that we identify. A uniquely rich dataset on non-capital felony jury trials held in four major U.S. state trial courts allows us to identify within-case effects and to control for typically unobservable aspects of the trial and its participants. We find that jurors with higher income and religiousness hold more favorable sentiments for the prosecution, while blacks hold more favorable sentiments for the defense. These pre-deliberation biases are reflected in trial outcomes, with juries with a higher average income and a greater proportion of religious jurors acquitting on fewer counts, and juries with a greater proportion of blacks convicting on fewer counts. However, these jury composition effects are smaller and account for less of the explained variation in verdicts than the effect of evidentiary strength. Finally, we find that prosecuting/defense attorneys prefer juries with higher/lower average income, indicating that attorneys are aware of the association between income and verdicts and may therefore attempt to leverage this knowledge to manipulate trial outcomes in their favor. Our results suggest that the sources of jury bias may be more nuanced and multidimensional than an analysis based on race alone would imply.
Attorney Empowerment in Voir Dire and the Racial Composition of Juries (with Jee-Yeon K. Lehmann) [open in PDF]
ABSTRACT: Giving attorneys more power in the voir dire (jury selection) process may allow them to 1) more easily dismiss jurors whom they wish to strike on a priori grounds; 2) acquire information that enables them to identify favorably-inclined jurors more precisely; or both. Attorneys who are more skilled can better use such increased power to retain the jurors they prefer. We show theoretically that, since defense attorneys tend to prefer non-white jurors a priori, the interaction of empowerment and defense attorney skill should produce juries with a greater proportion of non-whites if only the first mechanism is operative, but need not have this effect if the second is operative. We find empirically that skilled and empowered attorneys can indeed stack juries by retaining jurors predisposed to their side at a greater rate. However, we find that empowerment and skill have small and insignificant impacts on the racial composition of the seated jury.
Works in Progress
Understanding Residential Response to Time-of-Use Electricity Pricing (with Katrina Jessoe and David Rapson)
Awards for Environmental Damages in Jury Versus Bench Trials
Migrants’ Responses to Origin-Country Shocks and Natural Disasters (with Paul Karner and Arup Sen)
Articles and Research Reports
An Analysis of the Labour Productivity Growth Slowdown in Canada Since 2000 (with Someshwar Rao and Andrew Sharpe), International Productivity Monitor Number 10, Spring 2005. [open in PDF]
Assessing Aggregate Labour Productivity Trends in Canada and the United States: Total Economy versus Business Sector Perspectives, International Productivity Monitor Number 8, Spring 2004. [open in PDF]
International Productivity Comparisons: An Examination of Data Sources, International Productivity Monitor Number 6, Spring 2003. [open in PDF]
Aggregate Labour Productivity Growth in Canada and the United States: Definitions, Trends and Measurement Issues, CSLS Research Report number 2004-04, September. [open in PDF]
Productivity Trends in the Coal Mining Industry in Canada, CSLS Research Report number 2004-07, October. [open in PDF]
Productivity Trends in the Gold Mining Industry in Canada, CSLS Research Report number 2004-08, October. [open in PDF]
The Growth of Diamond Mining in Canada and Implications for Mining Productivity, CSLS Research Report number 2004-09, October. [open in PDF]
Labour Market Seasonality in Canada: Trends and Policy Implications (with Andrew Sharpe), CSLS Research Report number 2005-01, February. [open in PDF]
Measuring the Impact of Research on Well-being: A Survey of Indicators of Well-being (with Andrew Sharpe), CSLS Research Report number 2005-02, February. [open in PDF]
This page was last updated on Wednesday, April 17, 2013.