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Deterrence and age thresholds in punishment in British criminal law

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  • Braakmann, Nils

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of three age thresholds in British criminal law on self-reported offending: the possibility of custody at age 15, the switch from juvenile to adult law at age 18 and the switch from young offender institutions to adult prisons at age 21. Using longitudinal data from 2003 to 2006 I find strong evidence of discontinuous drops in self-reported crime at age 18 and 21. The effects are robust to various specifications of the age-crime relationship and to the inclusion of a wide range of controls, including arrests, court appearances and imprisonment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 44886.

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Date of creation: 15 Jan 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:44886

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Keywords: deterrence; economic model of crime; juvenile law; severity of punishment; crime;

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  1. Drago, Francesco & Galbiati, Roberto & Vertova, Pietro, 2007. "The Deterrent Effects of Prison: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 2912, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Steven D. Levitt, 1997. "Juvenile Crime and Punishment," NBER Working Papers 6191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Iyengar, Radha, 2009. "Does the certainty of arrest reduce domestic violence? Evidence from mandatory and recommended arrest laws," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 85-98, February.
  4. H. Naci Mocan & Daniel I. Rees, 1999. "Economic Conditions, Deterrence and Juvenile Crime: Evidence from Micro Data," NBER Working Papers 7405, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Lawrence Katz & Steven D. Levitt & Ellen Shustorovich, 2003. "Prison Conditions, Capital Punishment, and Deterrence," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 318-343, August.
  7. Steven D. Levitt & Lance Lochner, 2001. "The Determinants of Juvenile Crime," NBER Chapters, in: Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis, pages 327-374 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Steven D. Levitt, 1995. "The Effect of Prison Population Size on Crime Rates: Evidence From Prison Overcrowding Litigation," NBER Working Papers 5119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. Eric Helland & Alexander Tabarrok, 2007. "Does Three Strikes Deter?: A Nonparametric Estimation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(2).
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