The Age of Criminal Responsibility

How does the age of criminal responsibility affect the disposition of young people to commit crime and get an education?

Time period:


Target group:

Young people aged 15-17 years.     

Number of participants:

Young people born in 1993-1999.     


In 2010 the Danish Parliament lowered the age of criminal responsibility from 15 to 14 years. The lowering of the age of criminal responsibility lasted from July 2010 until February 2012, after which the age of the criminal responsibility was re-established at 15 years.    


In the project it is studied, how the lowering of the age of criminal responsibility affected the crime of 13-, 14- and 15 year old young people plus relapse and results at the final exams in public school.

The project exposes, whether tougher sanctions against 14 year old young people, who committed crime in the period, had deterrence or labelling effects.

The project is based on Danish register data and uses quantitative methods to study the effect of the policy change.     


Preliminary results in 2017. 


Economics Working Paper: Lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility: Consequences for juvenile crime and education

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