To the top

Page Manager: Webmaster
Last update: 9/11/2012 3:13 PM

Tell a friend about this page
Print version

How Punishment Severity A… - University of Gothenburg, Sweden Till startsida
To content Read more about how we use cookies on

How Punishment Severity Affects Jury Verdicts: Evidence from Two Natural Experiments

Journal article
Authors Anna Bindler
Randi Hjalmarsson
Published in American Economic Journal: Economic Policy
Volume 10
Issue 4
Pages 36-78
ISSN 1945-7731
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Economics
Pages 36-78
Language en
Subject categories Economics


This paper studies the effect of punishment severity on jury decision-making using archival data from London's Old Bailey Criminal Court from 1772 to 1871. We exploit two natural experiments in English history, resulting in sharp decreases in punishment severity: the offense-specific abolition of capital punishment and the temporary halt of penal transportation during the American Revolution. Using difference-in-differences to study the former and a pre-post design for the latter, we find a large, significant and permanent impact on jury behavior: juries are more likely to convict overall and across crime categories. Moreover, the effect size differs with defendants' gender.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

The University of Gothenburg uses cookies to provide you with the best possible user experience. By continuing on this website, you approve of our use of cookies.  What are cookies?