Mechanisms for Reducing Criminal Recidivism: Experimental Evidence

25 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2011  

Gregory J. DeAngelo

West Virginia University - Department of Economics

Gary Charness

University of California, Santa Barbara - Department of Economics

Beth A. Freeborn

Bureau of Economics

Date Written: July 5, 2011

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Recidivism, Deterrence, Uncertainty, Enforcement

JEL Classification: K10, K42

Suggested Citation

DeAngelo, Gregory J. and Charness, Gary and Freeborn, Beth A., Mechanisms for Reducing Criminal Recidivism: Experimental Evidence (July 5, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1894086 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1894086

Gregory Joseph DeAngelo (Contact Author)

West Virginia University - Department of Economics ( email )

Morgantown, WV 26506
United States

Gary Charness

University of California, Santa Barbara - Department of Economics ( email )

2127 North Hall
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
United States
805-893-2412 (Phone)
805-893-8830 (Fax)

Beth A. Freeborn

Bureau of Economics ( email )

600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20580
United States

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