The Deterrent Effects of Prison: Evidence from a Natural Experiment
The Collective Clemency Bill passed by the Italian Parliament in July 2006 represents a natural experiment to analyze the behavioral response of individuals to an exogenous manipulation of prison sentences. On the basis of a unique data set on the postrelease behavior of former inmates, we find that 1 month less time served in prison commuted into 1 month more in expected sentence for future crimes reduces the probability of recidivism by 0.16 percentage points. From this result we estimate an elasticity of average recidivism with respect to the expected punishment equal to - 0.74 for a 7-month period. (c) 2009 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved..
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Jeffrey R. Kling, 2004.
"Incarceration Length, Employment, and Earnings,"
873, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
- Kessler, Daniel P & Levitt, Steven D, 1999.
"Using Sentence Enhancements to Distinguish between Deterrence and Incapacitation,"
Journal of Law and Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(1), pages 343-63, April.
- Daniel Kessler & Steven D. Levitt, 1998. "Using Sentence Enhancements to Distinguish between Deterrence and Incapacitation," NBER Working Papers 6484, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Levitt, Steven D, 1996.
"The Effect of Prison Population Size on Crime Rates: Evidence from Prison Overcrowding Litigation,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 319-51, May.
- Steven D. Levitt, 1995. "The Effect of Prison Population Size on Crime Rates: Evidence From Prison Overcrowding Litigation," NBER Working Papers 5119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ehrlich, Isaac, 1973. "Participation in Illegitimate Activities: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 521-65, May-June.
- Gary S. Becker, 1968.
"Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
- Edward C. Norton & Hua Wang & Chunrong Ai, 2004. "Computing interaction effects and standard errors in logit and probit models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(2), pages 154-167, June.
- Levitt, Steven D. & Miles, Thomas J., 2007. "Empirical Study of Criminal Punishment," Handbook of Law and Economics, Elsevier.
- Emily G. Owens, 2009. "More Time, Less Crime? Estimating the Incapacitative Effect of Sentence Enhancements," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(3), pages 551-579, 08.
- Levitt, Steven D, 1998.
"Why Do Increased Arrest Rates Appear to Reduce Crime: Deterrence, Incapacitation, or Measurement Error?,"
Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(3), pages 353-72, July.
- Steven D. Levitt, 1995. "Why Do Increased Arrest Rates Appear to Reduce Crime: Deterrence, Incapacitation, or Measurement Error?," NBER Working Papers 5268, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Patrick Bayer & Randi Hjalmarsson & David Pozen, 2007. "Building Criminal Capital behind Bars: Peer Effects in Juvenile Corrections," NBER Working Papers 12932, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- David S. Lee & Justin McCrary, 2005. "Crime, Punishment, and Myopia," NBER Working Papers 11491, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
- The Deterrent Effects of Prison: Evidence from a Natural Experiment (2009) in ReplicationWiki
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:117:y:2009:i:2:p:257-280. 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: (Journals Division)
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.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 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.