Early Release and Recidivism

100 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2020

See all articles by Armando Meier

Armando Meier

University of Basel

Jonathan Levav

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Stephan Meier

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Columbia Business School - Management


Does early release decrease or increase the probability that ex-convicts will return to prison? We exploit unique data from Israeli courts, where appearance before the judge throughout the day has an arbitrary component. We first show that judges more often deny parole requests of prisoners appearing further from the judges' last break. We then use this variation in instrumental variable estimations and find that early releases reduce the propensity of prisoners to return to prison. Robustness checks suggest that later and earlier cases are largely comparable and that potential selection is unlikely to explain the results.

Keywords: parole, recidivism, early release, sentence length, judges

JEL Classification: D9, K14, K40

Suggested Citation

Meier, Armando and Levav, Jonathan and Meier, Stephan, Early Release and Recidivism. IZA Discussion Paper No. 13035, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3558333

Armando Meier (Contact Author)

University of Basel ( email )

Jonathan Levav

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

Stephan Meier

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston ( email )

600 Atlantic Avenue
Boston, MA 02210
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

Columbia Business School - Management ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

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