Does Public Assistance Reduce Recidivism?
AbstractUnder the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996, individuals convicted of drug-related felonies were permanently banned from receiving welfare and food stamps. Since then, over 30 states have opted out of the federal ban. In this paper, I estimate the impact of public assistance eligibility on recidivism by exploiting both the adoption of the federal ban and subsequent passage of state laws that lifted the ban. Using administrative prison records on five million offenders and a triple-differences research design, I find that public assistance eligibility for drug offenders reduces one-year recidivism rates by 10 percent.
CitationYang, Crystal S. 2017. "Does Public Assistance Reduce Recidivism?" American Economic Review, 107 (5): 551-55. DOI: 10.1257/aer.p20171001
- H53 National Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
- H75 State and Local Government: Health; Education; Welfare; Public Pensions
- I32 Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
- I38 Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty: Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
- K42 Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law