New Findings in the Economics of Crime and Policing
Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018 10:15 AM - 12:15 PM
- Chair: Imran Rasul, University College London
Intergenerational Effects of Incarceration
AbstractAn often overlooked population in discussions of prison reform is the children of inmates. How a child is affected depends both on what incarceration does to their parent and what they learn from their parent's experience. To overcome endogeneity concerns, we exploit the random assignment of judges who differ in their propensity to send defendants to prison. Using rich longitudinal data for Norway, we find that imprisonment has no effect on fathers’ recidivism but reduces their employment by 20 percentage points. We find no evidence that paternal incarceration affects a child's criminal activity or school performance.
Hispanic-White Sentencing Differentials in the Federal Criminal Justice System
AbstractIn the Federal criminal justice system, large differences in sentencing outcomes exist between Hispanic and White defendants. A candidate explanation is ingroup bias causing `outsiders' (Hispanics) to be treated differently to `insiders' (Whites). To probe this explanation we exploit 9-11 as an exogenously timed cue heightening the salience of insider-outsider differences in American society. Based on linked administrative data covering 230,000 criminal cases from time of arrest through to sentencing, we use a DiD research design based on defendants all of whom were arrested pre 9-11, but some whose cases were sufficiently far advanced along the system so as to come up for sentencing pre 9-11, while others had only just entered the system pre 9-11, and so were sentenced post 9-11. We document that among those sentenced post 9-11, Hispanic-White judicial sentencing differentials are further exacerbated relative to these sentenced pre 9-11, while Black-White sentencing differentials are unaffected. Our data and research design allows us to further document the differential treatment of Hispanic defendants by prosecutors in pre-sentencing stages of the CJS, such as with regards to the initial offense charges they set. Finally, we collate bibliographical information on judges and document that in districts with a higher proportion of Hispanic judges, the Hispanic-White sentencing differential is significantly reduced, consistent with judges' ingroup biases driving their sentencing decisions. Our results provide insights into the magnitude, channels and potential origins of Hispanic-White sentencing differentials in the Federal criminal justice system.
- K0 - General