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The Effect of Employment Frictions on Crime

Listed author(s):
  • Bryan Engelhardt

This article provides estimates on how long it takes for released inmates to find a job and, when they find a job, how less likely they are to be incarcerated. An on-the-job search model with crime is used to model criminal behavior, derive the estimation method, and analyze policies including a job placement program. The results show that the unemployed are incarcerated twice as fast as the employed and take on average 6 months to find a job. The article demonstrates that reducing the average unemployment spell of previously incarcerated criminals by 3 months reduces crime and recidivism by more than 5%. (c) 2010 by The University of Chicago.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/651541
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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Labor Economics.

Volume (Year): 28 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (07)
Pages: 677-718

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:28:y:2010:i:3:p:677-718
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JOLE/

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  1. Zvi Eckstein & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1995. "Duration to First Job and the Return to Schooling: Estimates from a Search-Matching Model," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(2), pages 263-286.
  2. Jeffrey Grogger, 1995. "The Effect of Arrests on the Employment and Earnings of Young Men," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 51-71.
  3. Christopher J. Flinn, 2006. "Minimum Wage Effects on Labor Market Outcomes under Search, Matching, and Endogenous Contact Rates," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(4), pages 1013-1062, 07.
  4. Bryan Engelhardt & Guillaume Rocheteau & Peter Rupert, 2007. "Crime and the labor market: a search model with optimal contracts," Working Paper 0715, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  5. Christian Bontemps & Jean-Marc Robin & GĂ©rard J. Van den Berg, 1999. "An Empirical Equilibrium Job Search Model With Search on the Job and Heterogeneous Workers and Firms," Post-Print hal-00357757, HAL.
  6. Gerard J. van den Berg & Geert Ridder, 1998. "An Empirical Equilibrium Search Model of the Labor Market," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(5), pages 1183-1222, September.
  7. Bowlus, Audra J & Kiefer, Nicholas M & Neumann, George R, 1995. "Estimation of Equilibrium Wage Distributions with Heterogeneity," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(S), pages 119-131, Suppl. De.
  8. van den Berg, Gerard J, 1999. "Empirical Inference with Equilibrium Search Models of the Labour Market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(456), pages 283-306, June.
  9. Steven D. Levitt, 1996. "The Effect of Prison Population Size on Crime Rates: Evidence from Prison Overcrowding Litigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 319-351.
  10. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
  11. James J. Heckman & Christopher J. Flinn, 1982. "New Methods for Analyzing Structural Models of Labor Force Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 0856, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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