Sam Norris is a PhD candidate in economics at Northwestern University. Prior to beginning graduate school in 2013, Sam earned his bachelor’s degree with honors from Simon Fraser University in 2010, his master’s degree in economics from the University of Toronto in 2012, and worked as a Research Fellow at Harvard University for the following year.
His work is in the area of applied microeconomics and engages with research outside of this field, touching on areas of sociology and public policy. His main areas of interest are in education, crime, and development economics. During his visit to the University of Chicago, he will work on projects on the prevalence of errors in the judicial system, and the long-term effects of incarceration.
In his work on judicial decision making, Sam has developed a method for decomposing variation in judicial outcomes into judge-specific error rates and leniency. Using Canadian court data, he shows that judges vary widely in how often they make mistakes, and that this accounts for nearly as much variation in outcomes as between-judge differences in leniency.