Justin McCrary

First name
Justin
Last name
McCrary
Abstract

Using administrative, longitudinal data on felony arrests in Florida, we exploit the
discontinuous increase in the punitiveness of criminal sanctions at 18 to estimate the
deterrence effect of incarceration. Our analysis suggests a 2 percent decline in the logodds
of offending at 18, with standard errors ruling out declines of II percent or more.
We interpret these magnitudes using a stochastic dynamic extension of Becker's (1968)
model of criminal behavior. Calibrating the model to match key empirical moments, we
conclude that deterrence elasticities with respect to sentence lengths are no more negative
than -0.13 for young offenders.

Year of Publication
2009
Number
550
Date Published
08/2009
Publication Language
eng
Citation Key
8388
Lee, D. ., & McCrary, J. . (2009). The Deterrence Effect of Prison: Dynamic Theory and Evidence. Retrieved from http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp019k41zd51c (Original work published August 2009)
Working Papers