Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Females in Crime

Gavrilova, Evelina (2021): Females in Crime.

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In this paper I review the literature on gender in the economics of crime. The emerging picture is that women are increasingly involved in crime at all ages. Women are favored in the Justice process with lower probabilities of arrest, shorter sentences and lighter sentencing regimes. The possible existence of a bias means that female crime can not be curbed by the policy maker through sweeping deterrence policies that affect all criminals. Rather, the key to decreasing crime lies in the multitude of life-cycle events that impact the opportunity cost to crime. Females are successfully deterred by welfare policies, with effects driven by the subgroup of single mothers. However, given trends of decreasing fertility, the group of potential criminals responding to welfare policies is dwindling. Therefore, there is a need for more research into the incentives that deter female criminals. The purpose would be to expand the set of tools that the policy maker can use to limit rising female crime.

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