The consequences of tougher sentencing and the prison boom: Recidivism, human capital accumulation, and intergenerational effects
This project examines the effect of incarceration on various outcomes, including recidivism, human capital accumulation, employment, and earnings. The authors will do so using a natural experiment leveraging variation in sentencing outcomes due to differences between randomly assigned judges. Taking advantage of the considerable administrative data capacities of University of Chicago’s Chapin Hall, the authors aim to make novel contributions extending well beyond the current literature, which largely relies on survey data. This research will address critical questions such as the flat lining of male labor force participation, and the importance of the prison boom in driving the black/white wage gap.