DP14067 The Persistence of the Criminal Justice Gender Gap: Evidence from 200 Years of Judicial Decisions

Author(s): Anna L Bindler, Randi Hjalmarsson
Publication Date: October 2019
Keyword(s): crime, discrimination, Gender, Gender Gap, History, sentencing, verdict
JEL(s): J16, K14, K40, N33
Programme Areas: Labour Economics, Public Economics, Economic History
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=14067

We document persistent gender gaps favoring females in jury convictions and judge sentences in nearly 200 years of London trials, which are unexplained by case characteristics. We find that three sharp changes in punishment severity locally affected the size and nature of the gaps, but were generally not strong enough to offset their persistence. These local effects suggest a mechanism of taste-based discrimination (paternalism) where the all-male judiciary protected females from the harshest available punishment.