CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Dusek on Crime Rates and Shorter Criminal Procedure

Libor Dusek (CERGE-EI (Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute)) has posted Time to Punishment: The Effects of a Shorter Criminal Procedure on Crime Rates on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

A shorter and simpler criminal procedure may affect crime rates by increasing the perceived severity of punishment and by inducing a reallocation of police enforcement resources. I investigate the impacts of a criminal procedure reform in the Czech Republic that allowed certain less serious offenses to be prosecuted via a simplified (fast-track) procedure. The share of cases actually prosecuted via the fast-track procedure varied substantially across police districts and offenses, which provides the basis for the identification strategy. The shorter procedure had very different effects on ordinary crimes reported by the victims and on crimes that are identified mostly by the enforcement effort of the police. Specifically, it led to a substantial increase in the number of recorded criminal offenses associated with driving. This finding is best rationalized by a reallocation of police enforcement effort towards crimes that have low enforcement costs. I also find some but rather weak evidence of a deterrent effect on burglary and embezzlement.

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