Not Just A Game: The Impact Of Penn State Football On Judicial Sentencing In Pennsylvania

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Ryan Dovel (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Ellen Key

Abstract: This paper explores the impact of sports on judicial decision making. I measure the impact of positive and negative emotional shocks resulting from Pennsylvania State Football game outcomes on judicial disposition by measuring the lengths of criminal sentences issued by judges who graduated from Penn State Law School. Using Pennsylvania sentencing data from 2009 and 2013, I utilize a multilevel model to analyze how sentences are affected by a variety of football game outcomes. The results of this study suggest that judges who attended Penn State for law school are not significantly affected by Penn State football outcomes. However, Penn State football upset victories have a significant effect on the sentences of judges who are not fans of the school, suggesting the presence of an antagonist effect.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Dovel, R. (2018). "Not Just A Game: The Impact Of Penn State Football On Judicial Sentencing In Pennsylvania." Unpublished Honors Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2018
Judicial sentencing, Judicial decision-making, Sentence lengths, Judicial bias

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