Turning 18: What a Difference Application of Adult Criminal Law Makes
AbstractThis 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 18 years, state specific) and other countries such that 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 InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5434.
Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 'Expected Recidivism among Young Offenders: Comparing Specific Deterrence under Juvenile and Adult Criminal Law' in: European Journal of Political Economy, 2012, 28 (4), 414-429
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Other versions of this item:
- Entorf, Horst, 2011. "Turning 18: What a Difference Application of Adult Criminal Law Makes," MPRA Paper 29811, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law
- C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
- H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
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