State Prisoner Elasticities and Integrated State Policies Using Non-Prison Alternatives

23 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2015

See all articles by Gary Shoesmith

Gary Shoesmith

Wake Forest University - School of Business

Date Written: March 25, 2015

Abstract

Research Summary: This study estimates national and state prisoner elasticities for violent crime, property crime, murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny, and auto theft, benchmarking the results against previous studies. The state elasticities vary widely across states, implying that the use of national estimates at the state level will often lead to misallocations of state funds. In modeling crime, experiments are conducted to assess the use of first-differences and lagged dependent variables. The initial results here suggest that it may be possible to closely approximate national and state prisoner elasticities using lagged dependent variables as substitutes for control variables. Policy Implications: The main purpose of the paper is to demonstrate an integrative approach to state policymaking aimed at reducing crime and costs. For each state, the prisoner elasticities are combined with current data on crime and imprisonment, prison maxouts, time served, and high school education in an effort to formulate coordinated policies based on recent research on the criminogenic effects of prison, deterrence, social and other non-prison alternatives, and compulsory education. Broad-brush policies are proposed for 19 states, with special attention to Louisiana and Florida.

Keywords: Crime, Incarceration, Prisoners, State crime policy, panel-data models

JEL Classification: K42, C5, C23

Suggested Citation

Shoesmith, Gary, State Prisoner Elasticities and Integrated State Policies Using Non-Prison Alternatives (March 25, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2585164 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2585164

Gary Shoesmith (Contact Author)

Wake Forest University - School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 7659
Winston-Salem, NC 27109-7285
United States
336-758-5053 (Phone)
336-758-4514 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://business.wfu.edu/directory/gary-l-shoesmith/

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