Crime Deterrence and Courts Efficiency (An Application to Crimes Against Property in Italy)
44 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2006
Date Written: April 2006
This paper concentrates on the existence of a causal relationship going from an excessive length of trials to high crime rates. Using data from the Italian National Institute of Statistics in the period 1999-2002, we estimate the impact of the length of criminal trials on the willingness to commit crimes against property, like thefts, robberies, racketeering and swindles in Italy. Estimates of the impact of the average length of trials show a significant positive effect on per-capita crimes against property, validating the hypothesis that criminals are sensitive to the discounting process of the burden of punishment they should bear.
Keywords: Criminal Law, Illegal Behavior, Enforcement of Law
JEL Classification: K14, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation