Crime, Prosecutors, and the Certainty of Conviction
Goethe University Frankfurt - Research Center SAFE; IZA Institute of Labor Economics
IZA Discussion Paper No. 5670
This paper tests predictions of a structural, augmented supply-of-offenders model regarding the relative effects of police, public prosecution and courts, respectively, on crime. Using detailed data on the different stages of the criminal prosecution process in Germany, empirical evidence suggests that public prosecutors and their influence on the probability of conviction play a major role in explaining the variation of crime rates, while the impact of the severity of punishment is small and insignificant.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 42
Keywords: public prosecutors, certainty of punishment, general deterrence, informal punishment, panel data
JEL Classification: K14, K41, C23
Date posted: May 9, 2011