April 2011

IZA DP No. 5670: Crime, Prosecutors, and the Certainty of Conviction

published jointly with Hannes Spengler in: European Journal of Law and Economics, 2015, 39(1), 167–201

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.