Empirical Economic Bulletin, An Undergraduate Journal


This paper examines the causes of high recidivism in the United States and offers a solution to theoretically bring these numbers down. This study is compiled of data over the past twenty years (1998-2018) as there have been spikes in recidivism rates during this time period. Some of the independent variables that this paper will take into account are economic and labor market freedom, race, cost, sentence length, and prison population under discretionary review. A one percent increase in state economic freedom is associated with a 0.47 % decrease in parolee recidivism. The relationship is stronger and more statistically significant for labor market freedom, with a one percent increase in labor market freedom being associated with a 0.67 % decline in recidivism.