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

Posted: 19 Apr 2017

See all articles by Björn Tyrefors

Björn Tyrefors

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN); Stockholm University - Department of Economics

Marten Palme

Stockholm University - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Mikael Priks

Stockholm University - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: April 14, 2017

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

Suggested Citation

Tyrefors, Björn and Palme, Marten and Priks, Mikael, Age-Dependent Court Sentences and Crime Bunching: Empirical Evidence from Swedish Administrative Data (April 14, 2017). IFN Working Paper No. 1163, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2954960

Björn Tyrefors (Contact Author)

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://www.ifn.se

Stockholm University - Department of Economics ( email )

Universitetsvägen 10 A
House A, floor 4 and 7
Frescati, Stockholm
Sweden

Marten Palme

Stockholm University - Department of Economics ( email )

Universitetsvägen 10 A
House A, floor 4 and 7
Frescati, Stockholm
Sweden
+46163307 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Mikael Priks

Stockholm University - Department of Economics ( email )

Universitetsvägen 10 A
House A, floor 4 and 7
Frescati, Stockholm
Sweden

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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