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Gender disparities in criminal justice

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  • Philippe, Arnaud

Abstract

This paper uses the universe of convictions occurred in France between 2000 and 2003 to document the gender gap in criminal justice. First, during this period, and after controlling for very precise description of the offenses as well as other observable characteristics, women get prison sentences 15 days shorter than men on average. This represents a 33% decrease in comparison to the average prison length in the sample (44 days). Second, this gender gap is also observed within pairs of criminals, each consisting of one man and one woman, who are convicted together, on the same day, by the same person and for the same crime. Lastly, this paper present robust evidences that the gender gap is affected by the judges' gender but not the prosecutors' gender. Using the evolution of courts' composition between 2000 and 2003, results show that a one-standard-deviation increase in the number of women in the court decreases the gender gap by 10%.

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe, Arnaud, 2017. "Gender disparities in criminal justice," TSE Working Papers 17-762, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  • Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:31472
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Briggs Depew & Ozkan Eren & Naci Mocan, 2017. "Judges, Juveniles, and In-Group Bias," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60(2), pages 209-239.
    2. Scott E. Carrell & Marianne E. Page & James E. West, 2010. "Sex and Science: How Professor Gender Perpetuates the Gender Gap," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1101-1144.
    3. Claire S. H. Lim & James M. Snyder Jr. & David Strömberg Jr., 2015. "The Judge, the Politician, and the Press: Newspaper Coverage and Criminal Sentencing across Electoral Systems," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 103-135, October.
    4. 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.
    5. Anne Boring, 2015. "Gender Biases in student evaluations of teachers," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2015-13, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    6. David S. Abrams & Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2012. "Do Judges Vary in Their Treatment of Race?," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 347-383.
    7. Sonja B. Starr, 2015. "Estimating Gender Disparities in Federal Criminal Cases," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(1), pages 127-159.
    8. Manuel F. Bagues & Berta Esteve-Volart, 2010. "Can Gender Parity Break the Glass Ceiling? Evidence from a Repeated Randomized Experiment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1301-1328.
    9. Max Schanzenbach, 2005. "Racial and Sex Disparities in Prison Sentences: The Effect of District-Level Judicial Demographics," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(1), pages 57-92, January.
    10. Shamena Anwar & Patrick Bayer & Randi Hjalmarsson, 2012. "The Impact of Jury Race in Criminal Trials," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(2), pages 1017-1055.
    11. Mustard, David B, 2001. "Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Disparities in Sentencing: Evidence from the U.S. Federal Courts," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(1), pages 285-314, April.
    12. Moses Shayo & Asaf Zussman, 2011. "Judicial Ingroup Bias in the Shadow of Terrorism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1447-1484.
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    Cited by:

    1. Philippe, Arnaud, 2017. "Incarcerate one to calm the others? Spillover effects of incarceration among criminal groups: Job Market Paper," TSE Working Papers 17-840, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    2. Philippe, Arnaud, 2017. "Incarcerate one to calm the others? Spillover effects of incarceration among criminal groups: Job Maket Paper," IAST Working Papers 17-70, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (IAST).

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    Keywords

    criminal justice; sentencing; gender gap;

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