Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/223888
Authors: 
Zanella, Giulio
Year of Publication: 
2020
Series/Report no.: 
IZA Discussion Papers 13446
Abstract: 
I study the causal pathways that link prison work programs to convict rehabilitation, leveraging administrative data from Italy and combining quasi-experimental and structural econometric methods to achieve both a credible identification and the isolation of mechanisms. Due to competing channels, I find that work in unskilled prison jobs impacts convicts on longer or shorter terms differently. Increasing work time by 16 hours per month reduces by between 3 and 10 percentage points the reincarceration rate, within three years of release, of convicts on terms longer than six months – because prison work counteracts the rapid depreciation of earning ability experienced by these convicts. For those on shorter terms, the analogous increase leads instead to a re-incarceration rate that is up to 9 percentage points higher, because of a liquidity effect that weakens deterrence.
Subjects: 
prison labor
prisoner rehabilitation
crime
recidivism
re-incarceration
JEL: 
K42
J47
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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