Criminal Rehabilitation, Incapacitation, and Aging

39 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2012 Last revised: 8 Mar 2012

See all articles by Peter Ganong

Peter Ganong

University of Chicago; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: December 1, 2011


In April 1993, Georgia instituted new parole guidelines that led to longer prison terms for parole-eligible offenders. This paper shows that an extra year of prison reduces the three-year recidivism rate by 6 percentage points (14 percent); and the beneļ¬ts of preventing this crime are likely outweighed by the costs of this additional incarceration.

I develop a new econometric framework to jointly estimate the effects of rehabilitation, incapacitation, and aging in reducing crime. Estimates of incapacitation effects using existing methodologies are biased upward by at least a factor of two because they focus on a short time horizon.

JEL Classification: J0, K14

Suggested Citation

Ganong, Peter, Criminal Rehabilitation, Incapacitation, and Aging (December 1, 2011). Available at SSRN: or

Peter Ganong (Contact Author)

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics