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Lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility: Consequences for juvenile crime and education

Anna Piil Damm (), Britt Østergaard Larsen, Helena Nielsen () and Marianne Simonsen ()
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Anna Piil Damm: Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University, Denmark, Postal: 8210 Aarhus V, Denmark
Britt Østergaard Larsen: The Danish Centre for Applied Social Science

Economics Working Papers from Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University

Abstract: This paper exploits a Danish policy reform combined with population-wide administrative registers to investigate whether being above the minimum age of criminal responsibility deters juveniles from crime. We study young individuals’ tendency to commit crime as well as their likelihood of recidivism by exploiting police records on offenses committed by the population of children and youth, including those below the minimum age of criminal responsibility. The reform lowered the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 15 to 14 years. We find that the reform did not deter 14-year-olds from committing crime. Moreover, conditional on committing crime in the first place, youths affected by the lower minimum age of criminal responsibility were more likely to recidivate and less likely to be enrolled in the 9th grade, just as they have lower grades at the 9th grade exit exam, conditional on participating. The latter results are consistent with labeling effects of processing in the criminal justice system.

Keywords: Juvenile delinquency; sanctions; general deterrence; individual deterrence; labeling effects (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: K14 K42 I21 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 66
Date: 2017-10-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu, nep-eur, nep-law and nep-ure
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:aah:aarhec:2017-10

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