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

Björn Tyrefors, Mårten Palme () and Mikael Priks ()
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Mikael Priks: Department of Economics, Postal: Stockholm University

No 1163, Working Paper Series from Research Institute of Industrial 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.

Keywords: General deterrence; Prison; Sorting; Age thresholds (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D90 K40 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur, nep-law and nep-ure
Date: 2017-04-03
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:1163

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