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Expected recidivism among young offenders: Comparing specific deterrence under juvenile and adult criminal law

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  • Entorf, Horst

Abstract

This paper contributes to the literature on specific deterrence by addressing the issue of selecting adolescents into adult and juvenile law systems. In Germany, different from the U.S. and most other countries, turning a critical cutoff age does not cause a sharp discontinuity from juvenile to adult penal law, but rather implies a shift to a discretionary system of both adult and juvenile law, dependent on the courts' impression of moral and mental personal development of the adolescent at the time of the act. The German legal system draws the line of adulthood at some fuzzy age interval between 18 and 21, which is well above the thresholds prevailing in the U.S. (16 to 18years, state specific) and other countries. Thus, the German evidence entails some external evidence to the previous literature mostly relying on U.S. data. Based on a unique inmate survey and Two-Equation Models controlling for selectivity problems, results show that application of adult criminal law instead of juvenile penal law decreases expected recidivism of adolescents.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 28 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 414-429

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Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:28:y:2012:i:4:p:414-429

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505544

Related research

Keywords: Specific deterrence; Recidivism; Survey data; Bivariate Probit; Treatment effects;

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References

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  1. Douhou, Salima & Magnus, Jan R. & van Soest, Arthur, 2011. "The perception of small crime," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 749-763.
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  8. Randi Hjalmarsson, 2009. "Juvenile Jails: A Path to the Straight and Narrow or to Hardened Criminality?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(4), pages 779-809, November.
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  11. Entorf, Horst, 2009. "Crime and the Labour Market: Evidence from a Survey of Inmates," IZA Discussion Papers 3976, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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Cited by:
  1. Entorf, Horst, 2013. "Criminal Victims, Victimized Criminals, or Both? A Deeper Look at the Victim-Offender Overlap," IZA Discussion Papers 7686, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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