Homicides and the Age of Criminal Responsibility in Brazil: A Density Discontinuity Approach
Economìa, the journal of LACEA
40 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2015 Last revised: 6 May 2018
Date Written: March 20, 2018
We employ a density discontinuity design to evaluate the deterrence effect of more severe punishments around the legal age of criminal responsibility in Brazil. Motivated by the criminology literature, we propose a novel proxy based on the inherent risk underlying criminal activities. Using violent death rates as a proxy for an individual's involvement in violent crime, we find no discernible deterrence effects. We additionally study arrest data from the country's third most populous state, Rio de Janeiro, and discuss the advantages of our proxy in light of potential underreporting biases from using criminal records.
Keywords: crime, deterrence, homicide, police, legal majority age
JEL Classification: J18, J22, K14, K42, O12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation