IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/oup/jleorg/v28yi2p186-210.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Rehabilitated or Not: An Informational Theory of Parole Decisions

Author

Listed:
  • Dan Bernhardt
  • Steeve Mongrain
  • Joanne Roberts

Abstract

We consider a parole board that learns about inmates' rehabilitation statuses from observing actions in prison. We show why a board would release one inmate, but not otherwise observationally identical inmates with longer sentences: greater parole board discretion makes additional information more valuable. Consequently, increasing sentences can lead to even greater increases in expected time served. We determine how sentence length affects rehabilitation incentives. To encourage effort, sentences cannot be too short, but when inmates are sufficiently impatient, long sentences may also be undesirable. We show how different parole board priors can support multiple equilibria in rehabilitation effort and investigate the effects of discretion restrictions like parole eligibility. The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Yale University. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Dan Bernhardt & Steeve Mongrain & Joanne Roberts, 2012. "Rehabilitated or Not: An Informational Theory of Parole Decisions," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(2), pages 186-210.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:28:y::i:2:p:186-210
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jleo/ewq008
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hart, Oliver D & Moore, John, 1988. "Incomplete Contracts and Renegotiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 755-785, July.
    2. Georg Noldeke & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1995. "Option Contracts and Renegotiation: A Solution to the Hold-Up Problem," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(2), pages 163-179, Summer.
    3. Guriev Sergei, 2003. "Incomplete Contracts with Cross-Investments," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-32, August.
    4. Yeon-Koo Che & Tai-Yeong Chung, 1999. "Contract Damages and Cooperative Investments," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, pages 84-105.
    5. Williamson, Oliver E, 1979. "Transaction-Cost Economics: The Governance of Contractural Relations," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 233-261, October.
    6. Steven Shavell, 1980. "Damage Measures for Breach of Contract," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(2), pages 466-490, Autumn.
    7. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1987. "Contracts as a Barrier to Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 388-401, June.
    8. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
    9. Donald B. Hausch & Yeon-Koo Che, 1999. "Cooperative Investments and the Value of Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 125-147, March.
    10. Aghion, Philippe & Dewatripont, Mathias & Rey, Patrick, 1994. "Renegotiation Design with Unverifiable Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 257-282, March.
    11. Tai-Yeong Chung, 1991. "Incomplete Contracts, Specific Investments, and Risk Sharing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(5), pages 1031-1042.
    12. Rosenkranz, Stephanie & Schmitz, Patrick W., 1999. "Know-how disclosure and incomplete contracts," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 181-185, May.
    13. Jonathan M. Karpoff & D. Scott Lee & Valaria P. Vendrzyk, 1999. "Defense Procurement Fraud, Penalties, and Contractor Influence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(4), pages 809-842, August.
    14. Aaron S. Edlin & Alan Schwartz, 2003. "Optimal Penalties in Contracts," Law and Economics 0303002, EconWPA.
    15. Edlin, Aaron S, 1996. "Cadillac Contracts and Up-Front Payments: Efficient Investment under Expectation Damages," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 98-118, April.
    16. Ronen Avraham & Zhiyong Liu, 2006. "Incomplete Contracts with Asymmetric Information: Exclusive Versus Optional Remedies," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(3), pages 523-561.
    17. Urs Schweizer, 2006. "Cooperative investments induced by contract law," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(1), pages 134-145, March.
    18. MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1993. "Investments, Holdup, and the Form of Market Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 811-837, September.
    19. Andreas Roider, 2004. "Asset Ownership and Contractibility of Interaction," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(4), pages 787-802, Winter.
    20. Edlin, Aaron S & Hermalin, Benjamin E, 2000. "Contract Renegotiation and Options in Agency Problems," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 395-423, October.
    21. Edlin, Aaron S & Reichelstein, Stefan, 1996. "Holdups, Standard Breach Remedies, and Optimal Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 478-501, June.
    22. Brooks, Richard & Stremitzer, Alexander, 2009. "On and Off Contract Remedies," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 290, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Bodenhorn, Howard, 2016. "Prison crowding, recidivism, and early release in early Rhode Island," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 55-74.
    2. Shamena Anwar & Hanming Fang, 2015. "Testing for Racial Prejudice in the Parole Board Release Process: Theory and Evidence," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(1), pages 1-37.
    3. Mitchell Polinsky, A., 2015. "Deterrence and the optimality of rewarding prisoners for good behavior," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 1-7.
    4. Mechoulan, Stéphane & Sahuguet, Nicolas, 2011. "Assessing Racial Discrimination in Parole Release," CEPR Discussion Papers 8506, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Stéphane Mechoulan & Nicolas Sahuguet, 2015. "Assessing Racial Disparities in Parole Release," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(1), pages 39-74.
    6. A. Mitchell Polinsky & Paul N. Riskind, 2017. "Deterrence and the Optimal Use of Prison, Parole, and Probation," NBER Working Papers 23436, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Pyne, Derek, 2015. "Can early release both reduce prison costs and increase deterrence?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 69-71.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:28:y::i:2:p:186-210. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: https://academic.oup.com/jleo .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.