Review of Economics and Statistics | 2021

Juvenile Punishment, High School Graduation, and Adult Crime: Evidence from Idiosyncratic Judge Harshness



This paper contributes to the debate on the impact of juvenile crime punishment on high school completion and adult recidivism using administrative data from a southern U.S. state. We exploit random assignment of cases to judges and use idiosyncratic judge stringency in imprisonment to estimate the causal effect of incarceration. We find that juvenile incarceration increases the propensity of being convicted for a drug offense in adulthood while it lowers the propensity to be convicted of a property crime. Juvenile incarceration has also a detrimental effect on high school completion for earlier cohorts, but it has no impact on later cohorts.

Volume 103
Pages 34-47
DOI 10.1162/rest_a_00872
Language English
Journal Review of Economics and Statistics

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