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

Markus Gehrsitz ()
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Markus Gehrsitz: University of Strathclyde

No 10707, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

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.

Keywords: crime; speeding; deterrence; regression discontinuity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I12 K42 R41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-law, nep-tre and nep-ure
Date: 2017-04
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