Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Publications Database

Crime, prosecutors, and the certainty of conviction

Spengler, Hannes
Volume: 39
Number: 1
Pages: 167 - 201
Month: February
ISSN-Print: 0929-1261
Link External Source: Online Version
Year: 2015
Keywords: General Deterrence; Certainty of Punishment; Public Prosecution; Panel Econometrics

This paper tests predictions of a structural, augmented supply-of-offenders model regarding the relative effects of police, public prosecution and courts, respectively, on crime. Using detailed data on the different stages of the criminal prosecution process in Germany, empirical evidence suggests that public prosecutors and their influence on the probability of conviction play a major role in explaining the variation of crime rates, while the impact of the severity of punishment is small and insignificant.