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Juvenile Incarceration, Human Capital, and Future Crime : Evidence from Randomly Assigned Judges


Aizer & Doyle (2015)


Imprisonment can disrupt life trajectories by removing young individuals from schooling. In turn, this lower educational attainment may increase recidivism in the future. This study quantifies these effects using an instrumental variable approach, exploiting the fact that some cases are assigned judges randomly. This study exploits the random assignment of judges to cases and the variation in judges' incarceration rate as an instrumental variable to estimate the causal effects of juvenile incarceration on high school completion and adult recidivism.


Defined as a case assigned to a judge with a high incarceration rate in other cases.


Defined as a case assigned to a judge with a low incarceration rate in other cases.


Juvenile incarceration results in substantially lower high school completion rates and higher adult incarceration rates, including for violent crimes.

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#Law #Experiment #Judicial

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