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Speeding, Punishment, and Recidivism: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design

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  • Gehrsitz, Markus

    () (University of Strathclyde)

Abstract

This paper estimates the effects of temporary driver's license suspensions on driving behavior. A little known rule in the German traffic penalty catalogue maintains that drivers who commit a series of speeding transgressions within 365 days should have their license suspended for one month. My regression discontinuity design exploits the quasi-random assignment of license suspensions caused by the 365-days cut-off and shows that 1-month license suspensions lower the probability of recidivating within a year by 20 percent. This is largely a specific deterrence effect driven by the punishment itself and not by incapacitation, information asymmetries, or the threat of stiffer future penalties.

Suggested Citation

  • Gehrsitz, Markus, 2017. "Speeding, Punishment, and Recidivism: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design," IZA Discussion Papers 10707, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10707
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    crime; speeding; deterrence; regression discontinuity;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise

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