The Effects of DNA Databases on the Deterrence and Detection of Offenders

83 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2016 Last revised: 4 Apr 2019

See all articles by Anne Sofie Tegner Anker

Anne Sofie Tegner Anker

Rockwool Foundation Research Unit

Jennifer L. Doleac

Texas A&M University - Department of Economics

Rasmus Landersø

Rockwool Foundation Research Unit

Date Written: March 2019

Abstract

This paper studies the effects of adding criminal offenders to a DNA database. Using a large expansion of Denmark’s DNA database, we find that DNA registration reduces recidivism within the following year by as much as 43% and it also increases the probability that offenders are identified. We thereby estimate the elasticity of crime with respect to the detection probability to be -2.7, implying that a 1% higher detection probability reduces crime by more than 2%. We also find that DNA registration makes offenders more likely to find employment, enroll in education, and live in a more stable family environment.

Keywords: DNA, deterrence, crime, recidivism, technology

Suggested Citation

Tegner Anker, Anne Sofie and Doleac, Jennifer L. and Landersø, Rasmus, The Effects of DNA Databases on the Deterrence and Detection of Offenders (March 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2811790 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2811790

Anne Sofie Tegner Anker

Rockwool Foundation Research Unit ( email )

Sejroegade 11
DK-2100 Copenhagen
Denmark

Jennifer L. Doleac (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University - Department of Economics ( email )

5201 University Blvd.
College Station, TX 77843-4228
United States

HOME PAGE: http://jenniferdoleac.com/

Rasmus Landersø

Rockwool Foundation Research Unit ( email )

Sejroegade 11
DK-2100 Copenhagen
Denmark

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