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Does Three Strikes Deter?: A Nonparametric Estimation

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Author Info

  • Eric Helland
  • Alexander Tabarrok

Abstract

We take advantage of the fortuitous randomization of trial outcome to provide a novel strategy to identify the deterrent effect exclusive of incapacitation. We compare the post-sentencing criminal activity of criminals who were convicted of a strikeable offense with those who were tried for a strikeable offense but convicted of a nonstrikeable offense. As a robustness check, we also make this comparison in states without three-strikes laws. The identification strategy lets us estimate the deterrent effect nonparametrically using data solely from the three-strikes era. We find that California’s three-strike legislation significantly reduces felony arrest rates among the class of criminals with two strikes by 17–20 percent.

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File URL: http://jhr.uwpress.org/cgi/reprint/XLII/2/309
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 42 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:42:y:2007:i2:p309-330

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Web page: http://jhr.uwpress.org/

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Cited by:
  1. Georges Dionnne & Pierre-Carl Michaud & Jean Pinquet, 2012. "A Review of Recent Theoretical and Empirical Analyses of Asymmetric Information in Road Safety and Automobile Insurance," Cahiers de recherche 1204, CIRPEE.
  2. Ross, Amanda, 2012. "Crime, police, and truth-in-sentencing: The impact of state sentencing policy on local communities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 144-152.
  3. Ben Vollaard, 2013. "Preventing crime through selective incapacitation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123(567), pages 262-284, 03.
  4. Christina Aperjis & Yali Miao & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 2010. "Variable Temptations and Black Mark Reputations," NBER Working Papers 16423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Barbarino, Alessandro & Mastrobuoni, Giovanni, 2012. "The Incapacitation Effect of Incarceration: Evidence from Several Italian Collective Pardons," IZA Discussion Papers 6360, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. D'Este, Rocco, 2014. "The Effect of Stolen Goods Markets on Crime: Evidence from a Quasi - Natural Experiment," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1040, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  7. Drago, Francesco & Galbiati, Roberto & Vertova, Pietro, 2008. "Prison Conditions and Recidivism," IZA Discussion Papers 3395, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Dara N. Lee, 2011. "The Digital Scarlet Letter: The Effect of Online Criminal Records on Crime," Working Papers 1118, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  9. Braakmann, Nils, 2013. "Deterrence and age thresholds in punishment in British criminal law," MPRA Paper 44886, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. David S. Lee & Justin McCrary, 2009. "The Deterrence Effect of Prison: Dynamic Theory and Evidence," Working Papers 1168, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  11. Giovanni Mastrobuoni, 2011. "Optimal Criminal Behavior and the Disutility of Jail: Theory and Evidence On Bank Robberies," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 220, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  12. McCrary, Justin & Lee, David S., 2009. "The Deterrence Effect of Prison: Dynamic Theory and Evidence," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt2gh1r30h, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
  13. Entorf, Horst, 2012. "Certainty and Severity of Sanctions in Classical and Behavioral Models of Deterrence: A Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 6516, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Alain Cohn & Michel André Maréchal & Thomas Noll, 2013. "Bad boys: the effect of criminal identity on dishonesty," ECON - Working Papers 132, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
  15. Maurin, Eric & Ouss, Aurelie, 2009. "Sentence Reductions and Recidivism: Lessons from the Bastille Day Quasi Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 3990, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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