nep-law New Economics Papers
on Law and Economics
Issue of 2024‒03‒04
nine papers chosen by
Yves Oytana, Université de Franche-Comté

  1. Criminal charges, risk assessment and violent recidivism in cases of domestic abuse By Black, Dan A.; Grogger, Jeffrey; Kirchmaier, Tom; Sanders, Koen
  2. The impact of comprehensive student support on crime By Lavecchia, Adam; Oreopoulos, Philip; Spencer, Noah
  3. Swiftness and Delay of Punishment By Libor Dušek; Christian Traxler
  4. The German Constitutional Court – Activist, but not Partisan? By Christoph Engel
  5. Transit Migration and Crime: Evidence from Colombia By Ramón Rey; Günther G. Schulze; Nikita Zakharov
  6. The Truth-Telling of Truth-Seekers: Evidence from Online Experiments with Scientists By Moritz A. Drupp; Menusch Khadjavi; Rudi Voss
  7. Environmental citizen complaints By Colmer, Jonathan Mark; Evans, Mary F.; Shimshack, Jay
  8. Bride Kidnapping and Informal Governance Institutions By Porreca, Zachary
  9. Hit-and-Run or Hit-and-Stay? Unintended Effects of a Stricter BAC Limit By French, Michael; Gumus, Gulcin

  1. By: Black, Dan A.; Grogger, Jeffrey; Kirchmaier, Tom; Sanders, Koen
    Abstract: Domestic abuse is a pervasive global problem. Here we analyze two approaches to reducing violent DA recidivism. One involves charging the perpetrator with a crime; the other provides protective services to the victim on the basis of a formal risk assessment carried out by the police. We use detailed administrative data to estimate the average effect of treatment on the treated using inverse propensity-score weighting (IPW). We then make use of causal forests to study heterogeneity in the estimated treatment effects. We find that pressing charges substantially reduces the likelihood of violent recidivism. The analysis also reveals substantial heterogeneity in the effect of pressing charges. In contrast, the risk-assessment process has no discernible effect.
    Keywords: domestic abuse; charges; risk assessment; propensity score weighting; crime
    JEL: D00
    Date: 2023–01–20
  2. By: Lavecchia, Adam; Oreopoulos, Philip; Spencer, Noah
    Abstract: This study finds substantial reductions to criminal activity from the introduction of a comprehensive high school support program for disadvantaged youth living in the largest public housing project in Toronto. The program, called Pathways to Education, bundles supports such as regular coaching, tutoring, group activities, free public transportation tickets and bursaries for postsecondary education. In this paper, we use a difference-in-differences approach that compares students living in public housing communities where the program was offered to those living in communities where the program was not offered over time. We find that eligibility for Pathways reduces the likelihood of being charged with a crime by 32 percent at its Regent Park location. This effect is driven by a reduction in charges for breaking and entering, theft, mischief, other traffic offenses and Youth Criminal Justice Act offenses.
    Keywords: At-risk youth, education and crime, youth programs
    JEL: I24 I26 I28 L31
    Date: 2024
  3. By: Libor Dušek; Christian Traxler
    Abstract: This paper studies how the swiftness and delay of punishment affect behavior. Using rich administrative data from automated speed cameras, we exploit two (quasi-)experimental sources of variation in the time between a speeding offense and the sending of a ticket. At the launch of the speed camera system, administrative challenges caused delays of up to three months. Later, we implemented a protocol that randomly assigned tickets to swift or delayed processing. We identify two different results. First, delays have a negative effect on payment compliance: the rate of timely paid fines diminishes by 7 to 9% when a ticket is sent with a delay of four or more weeks. We also find some evidence that very swift tickets – sent on the first or second day following the offense – increase timely payments. These results align with the predictions of expert scholars that we elicited in a survey. Second, speeding tickets cause a strong, immediate, and persistent decline in speeding. However, we do not detect any robust, differential effects of swiftness or delay on speeding. This challenges widely held beliefs, as reflected in our survey. Yet, we document large mechanical benefits of swift punishment and provide a theoretical framework of learning and updating that explains our findings.
    Keywords: law enforcement, celerity of punishment, swiftness, specific deterrence, speeding, payment compliance, expert survey
    JEL: K14 K42 D80
    Date: 2024
  4. By: Christoph Engel (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods)
    Abstract: The German Constitutional Court has powers that are no weaker than the powers of the US Supreme Court. Justices are openly selected by the political parties. Nonetheless, public and professional perception are strikingly different. Justices at the German court are not believed to be guided by the policy preferences of the nominating party. This paper uses the complete publicly available data to investigate whether this perception is well-founded. It exploits two independent sources of quasi-random variation to generate causal evidence. There is no smoking gun of ideological influence. Some specifications show, however, that justices nominated by the FDP and the SPD are more activist, even in domains where activism likely runs counter the ideological preferences of these parties.
    Keywords: German Constitutional Court, party influence, ideology, judicial activism, quasirandom variation
    Date: 2024–02
  5. By: Ramón Rey; Günther G. Schulze; Nikita Zakharov (Department of International Economic Policy, University of Freiburg)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of Venezuelan transit migration on crime rates in Colombia. We exploit the reopening of the VenezuelaColombia border in 2016, which has led to a surge in transit migration, and geospatial information about the distinct routes through which the migrants crossed Colombia. Employing a difference-in-differences approach and propensity score matching, we find that transit migration increased property crime rates in crossed municipalities, with both native Colombians and Venezuelan refugees seeing higher victimization rates. Violent crimes remained unaffected. This is the first study to document a link between transit migration and crime.
    Keywords: crime, transit migration, Venezuela
    Date: 2024–01
  6. By: Moritz A. Drupp; Menusch Khadjavi; Rudi Voss
    Abstract: Academic honesty is crucial for scientific advancement, yet replication crises and misconduct scandals are omnipresent. We provide evidence on scientists’ truth-telling from two incentivized coin-tossing experiments with more than 1, 300 scientists. Experiment I, with predominantly European and North-American scientists, shows that fewer scientists over-report winning tosses when their professional identity is salient. The global Experiment II yields heterogeneous effects. We replicate Experiment I’s effect for North-American scientists, but find the opposite for Southern European and East-Asian scientists. Over-reporting correlates with publication metrics and country-level measures of academic and field-experimental dishonesty, suggesting that country-level honesty norms also guide truth-telling by scientists.
    Keywords: truth-telling, lying, identity, science, cross-country, experiment
    JEL: C93 D82 K42 J45
    Date: 2024
  7. By: Colmer, Jonathan Mark; Evans, Mary F.; Shimshack, Jay
    Abstract: Citizen complaints feature prominently in public oversight contexts. The nature and effects of complaints, however, are controversial and poorly understood. We first investigate attitudes about citizen complaints using a nationally representative survey. We document that the public believes complaints promote open, efficient, and equitable governance. We then exploit novel administrative data on over 130, 000 complaints in Texas to investigate their observed dynamic effects on regulator behavior. Empirically, complaints are associated with sharp increases in regulator monitoring and enforcement. Complaints uncover more, and more severe violations, than more standard monitoring approaches. Overall, our findings are consistent with complaints enhancing regulatory efficiency.
    Keywords: citizen complaints; environmental regulation; compliance; monitoring and enforcement; pollution
    JEL: Q58 Q53 K32 D78
    Date: 2023–03–09
  8. By: Porreca, Zachary
    Abstract: Bride kidnapping is a form of forced marriage in which a woman is taken against her will and coerced into accepting marriage with her captor. Post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan has seen a large increase in the prominence of this practice alongside a revitalization of traditional values and culture. As part of this resurgence of Kyrgyz identity and culture, the central government has formalized the authority of councils of elders called aksakals as an arbitrator for local dispute resolution- guided by informal principles of tradition and cultural norm adherence. Bride kidnapping falls within the domain of aksakal authority. In this study, I leverage data from a nationally representative survey and specify a latent class nested logit model of mens' marriage modality choice to analyze the impacts that aksakal governance has on the decision to kidnap. Based on value assessment questions on the survey, men are assigned to a probability distribution over latent class membership. Utility function parameters for each potential marriage modality are estimated for each latent class of men. Results suggest that living under aksakal governance makes men 9% more likely to obtain a wife through bride capture, with men substituting kidnapping for choice marriage modalities such as elopement and standard love marriages.
    Keywords: Bride Kidnapping, Forced Marriage, Informal Institutions, Kyrgyzstan
    JEL: J12 K42 N35 P37 O17 J16 Z10
    Date: 2024
  9. By: French, Michael (University of Miami); Gumus, Gulcin (Florida Atlantic University)
    Abstract: Although they comprise a relatively small subset of all traffic deaths, hit-and-run fatalities are both contemptible and preventable. We analyze longitudinal data from 1982-2008 to examine the effects of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) laws on hit-and-run traffic fatalities. Our results suggest that lower BAC limits may have an unintended consequence of increasing hit-and-run fatalities, while a similar effect is absent for non-hit-and-run fatalities. Specifically, we find that adoption of a .08 BAC limit is associated with an 8.3% increase in hit-and-run fatalities. This unintended effect is more pronounced in urban areas and during weekends, which are typical settings for hit-and-run incidents.
    Keywords: traffic fatalities, hit-and-run, BAC, DUI, FARS
    JEL: H73 I12 I18
    Date: 2024–01

This nep-law issue is ©2024 by Yves Oytana. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.