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Does punishment of minor sexual offences deter rapes? Longitudinal evidence from France

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  • Nicolas Gérard Vaillant

    (LEM - Lille - Economie et Management - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UCL - Université catholique de Lille - Université de Lille)

  • François-Charles Wolff

    (LEMNA - Laboratoire d'économie et de management de Nantes Atlantique - UN - Université de Nantes)

Abstract

Using original French panel data, this paper investigates the relevance of the broken windows theory in case of an offence category featured by the absence of monetary benefits. Estimates from random and fixed effects models highlight the deterrent effect of sanctions for rapes and minor sexual offences. The enforcement activity of rapes is the most deterrent factor both for rapes and other sexual offences, compared with the rapes- and minor sexual offences-reducing impact of an increase in the enforcement activity for minor sexual offences. Our results cast doubt on the broken windows theory. From a normative perspective, it would be more efficient to deter the authors of rapes rather than those of less severe sexual offences.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicolas Gérard Vaillant & François-Charles Wolff, 2009. "Does punishment of minor sexual offences deter rapes? Longitudinal evidence from France," Working Papers hal-00424479, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00424479
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00424479
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    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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