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Prisons, recidivism and the age–crime profile

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  • Bindler, Anna
  • Hjalmarsson, Randi

Abstract

This paper provides a descriptive analysis of the economic and non-economic channels that led to a U-shaped trend in the average age of male convicts in 19th century London using detailed data from the Old Bailey central criminal court. In addition to discussing industrialization and changing attitudes towards juveniles as potential mechanisms underlying the initial decrease and subsequent increase in criminal age, we put forth a new explanation of the latter. Did the abolition of capital punishment and penal transportation, which led to the rise of the modern day prison system and the emergence of recidivism, lead to a mechanical increase in the average age of criminals?

Suggested Citation

  • Bindler, Anna & Hjalmarsson, Randi, 2017. "Prisons, recidivism and the age–crime profile," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 46-49.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:152:y:2017:i:c:p:46-49
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2017.01.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Chris Vickers & Nicolas L. Ziebarth, 2016. "Economic Development and the Demographics of Criminals in Victorian England," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(1), pages 191-223.
    3. Grogger, Jeff, 1998. "Market Wages and Youth Crime," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(4), pages 756-791, October.
    4. Lance Lochner, 2004. "Education, Work, And Crime: A Human Capital Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(3), pages 811-843, August.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Age–crime profile; Industrial revolution; Prison; Punishment; Recidivism;

    JEL classification:

    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law
    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N43 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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