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  You Are In Charge – Experimentally Testing the Motivating Power of Holding a Judicial Office

Engel, C., & Zhurakhovska, L. (2016). You Are In Charge – Experimentally Testing the Motivating Power of Holding a Judicial Office.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002B-A5B2-A Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-F1A0-E
Genre: Paper

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 Creators:
Engel, Christoph1, Author              
Zhurakhovska, Lilia1, Author              
Affiliations:
1Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Max Planck Society, ou_2173688              

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Free keywords: judicial behavior, office motive, public-goods experiment, judicial frame, election, experience
 JEL: C91 - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
 JEL: D03 - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
 JEL: D63 - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
 JEL: D73 - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
 JEL: H11 - Structure, Scope, and Performance of Government
 JEL: H41 - Public Goods
 JEL: H83 - Public Administration; Public Sector Accounting and Audits
 JEL: K41 - Litigation Process
 Abstract: Apparently judges’ decisions are not motivated by maximizing their own profit. The literature uses two strategies to explain this observation: judges care about the long-term monetary consequences for themselves, or individuals who are more strongly motivated by the common good self-select into the profession. We suggest that there is an additional explanation, the "office motive". In a lab experiment, we rule out both traditional explanations by design. Nonetheless authorities do a reliable job at overcoming a social dilemma. Calling the authorities "public official" or "judge" increases their sensitivity towards the degree by which individuals are selfish, and it reduces the effect of their social value orientation (making them more neutral). This suggests that the socially desirable effect is not driven by anger or sympathy with the victims, but follows from the desire to fulfill the expectations that come with the assigned task. We test three extensions: When given an opportunity to announce an explicit policy, judges become less sensitive to the objective degree of reproach, and more sensitive to their social value orientation. If judges are elected or experienced, they react more intensely to norm violations. Experienced judges are more affected by their social value orientation.

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 Dates: 2017-012016
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: 68
 Publishing info: Bonn : Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: Other: 2016/15
 Degree: -

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