The Effect of Public Health Insurance on Criminal Recidivism

64 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2019 Last revised: 20 Feb 2020

See all articles by Erkmen Giray Aslim

Erkmen Giray Aslim

Texas A&M University - Private Enterprise Research Center

Murat C. Mungan

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty

Carlos Navarro

Texas A&M University - Private Enterprise Research Center

Han Yu

Dalton State College

Date Written: February 19, 2020

Abstract

We consider a Beckerian enforcement model to identify different channels through which health care access may affect recidivism, and we empirically estimate these effects. By exploiting variation in state Medicaid expansion dates,  we find that increased access reduces recidivism for both violent and public order crimes. Moreover, public coverage expansions substantially increase access to substance use disorder treatment. This effect is salient for individuals who are covered by Medicaid and referred to treatment by the criminal justice system. These findings are most consistent with the theory that increased access to health care reduces ex-offenders' propensities to impulsively commit crimes.

Keywords: Medicaid, Recidivism, Affordable Care Act, Substance Use Disorder

JEL Classification: I15, K42

Suggested Citation

Aslim, Erkmen Giray and Mungan, Murat C. and Navarro, Carlos and Yu, Han, The Effect of Public Health Insurance on Criminal Recidivism (February 19, 2020). George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 19-19, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3425457 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3425457

Erkmen Giray Aslim (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University - Private Enterprise Research Center ( email )

College Station, TX
United States

Murat C. Mungan

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Carlos Navarro

Texas A&M University - Private Enterprise Research Center ( email )

College Station, TX
United States
9798453494 (Phone)
9798456636 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://perc.tamu.edu/

Han Yu

Dalton State College ( email )

Dalton, GA 30720
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.hanyuecon.com

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