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Age-Dependent Court Sentences and Crime Bunching: Empirical Evidence from Swedish Administrative Data

Author

Listed:
  • Tyrefors Hinnerich, Björn

    () (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))

  • Palme, Mårten

    () (Department of Economics)

  • Priks, Mikael

    () (Department of Economics)

Abstract

According to Swedish penal code, there is a “rebate” on all prison sentences before the 21st birthday. We exploit this age discontinuity to investigate how individuals respond to harsher punishments. We use a large Swedish dataset, including dates for all crimes which led to convictions for cohorts born during the period 1973–1993. We find evidence of “bunching” in the sense that more crimes were committed during the week prior to a 21st birthday, followed by a reduction in crime during the week after this birthday. We do not, however, find that harsher punishment reduces the crime rate permanently.

Suggested Citation

  • Tyrefors Hinnerich, Björn & Palme, Mårten & Priks, Mikael, 2017. "Age-Dependent Court Sentences and Crime Bunching: Empirical Evidence from Swedish Administrative Data," Working Paper Series 1163, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:1163
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Dur, Robert & Vollaard, Ben, 2019. "Salience of law enforcement: A field experiment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 208-220.
    2. Vollaard, Ben, 2017. "Temporal displacement of environmental crime: Evidence from marine oil pollution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 168-180.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    General deterrence; Prison; Sorting; Age thresholds;

    JEL classification:

    • D90 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - General
    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General

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