Environmental Crime and Punishment: Empirical Evidence from the German Penal Code
U.S. and E.U. environmental policy employ criminal sanctions to enforce compliance. Recent moves toward revising their use are based on little empirical evidence as to their effectiveness. This paper exploits a unique dataset to study the deterrent effect of criminal enforcement. The dynamic panel data analysis leads to three findings. First, criminal sanctions do provide the intended deterrent effects. Second, standing trial provides one of the most significant deterrents, rather than the probability of conviction or the magnitude of fines. Third, public preferences regarding environmental quality and political economy variables affect reported environmental crime.
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