Indirect Effects of a Policy Altering Criminal Behaviour: Evidence from the Italian Prison Experiment

44 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2011

See all articles by Francesco Drago

Francesco Drago

University of Messina, CSEF & CEPR

Roberto Galbiati

Department of Economics, Sciences Po-CNRS

Abstract

We exploit the Collective Clemency Bill passed by the Italian Parliament in July 2006 to evaluate the indirect effects of a policy that randomly commutes actual sentences to expected sentences for 40 percent of the Italian prison population. We estimate the direct and indirect impact of the residual sentence - corresponding to a month less time served in prison associated with a month of expected sentence - at the date of release on individual recidivism. Using prison, nationality and region of residence to construct reference groups of former inmates, we find large indirect effects of this policy. In particular, we find that the reduction in the individuals' recidivism due to an increase in their peers' residual sentence is at least as large as their response to an increase in their own residual sentence. From this result we estimate a social multiplier in crime of 2.

Keywords: crime, social interactions, indirect effects

JEL Classification: K00, C90

Suggested Citation

Drago, Francesco and Galbiati, Roberto, Indirect Effects of a Policy Altering Criminal Behaviour: Evidence from the Italian Prison Experiment. IZA Discussion Paper No. 5414, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1733739

Francesco Drago (Contact Author)

University of Messina, CSEF & CEPR ( email )

Piazza Pugliatti 1
Messina
Italy

Roberto Galbiati

Department of Economics, Sciences Po-CNRS ( email )

28 rue des saints peres
Paris, 75007
France

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
45
Abstract Views
776
PlumX Metrics