Семинар пройдет в помещении Института проблем правоприменения, аудитория 214 (напротив входа в компьютерный класс ЕУСПб). Ведущий научный сотрудник Института проблем правоприменения Дмитрий Скугаревский представит свою работу «Is Pleading a Bargain under Essential Heterogeneity?» (текст доступен для ознакомления)
This paper asks whether pleading guilty to a crime leads to a reduction in sentence length. To answer this question I examine case outcomes and characteristics of defendants from 7 jurisdictions around the world, including civil and common law countries. The wealth of information comes from a novel data set on the universe of 2.2+ million eligible criminal defendants processed in the 2011–2013’s Russia, the world’s second largest jurisdiction. With rich data at hand, I investigate a defendant’s decision to plead guilty and its ramifications in the framework of essential heterogeneity (Heckman and Vytlacil, 1999, 2005, 2007). I identify and estimate the Marginal Treatment Effect of pleading guilty on length of unconditional real incarceration along the distribution of unobserved willingness to go to trial. This is done with a new instrumental variable that capitalises on court docket information, is relevant, and is universally available in the studied jurisdictions. Results reveal (i) high heterogeneity of individual benefits to pleading guilty, (ii) that pleading is most rewarding for those who choose not to plead guilty. These results are observed in every studied jurisdiction and are not sensitive to modelling assumptions, thereby demonstrating high internal and external validity. Uncovered heterogeneity in the benefits of a plea bargain sheds new light on the design and functioning of this legal institution.