Mechanisms for Reducing Criminal Recidivism: Experimental Evidence
Gregory J. DeAngelo
West Virginia University - Department of Economics
University of California, Santa Barbara - Department of Economics
Beth A. Freeborn
Bureau of Economics
July 5, 2011
We conduct laboratory experiments to investigate the effect of deterrence mechanisms on recidivism under controlled conditions. Experimental analysis allows for easier identification of recidivism than the use of empirical or field data. Specifically, we focus on the effect of variation in expected cost of behavior on the rate of recidivism and the number of times an individual re-offends after apprehension. We use a roadway speeding framework and find that the rate of recidivism and number of times an individual re-commits a proscribed act are strongly influenced by the expected penalty.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 25
Keywords: Recidivism, Deterrence, Uncertainty, Enforcement
JEL Classification: K10, K42
Date posted: July 25, 2011
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