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Cook P.J.,Duke University | Kang S.,Hanyang University | Braga A.A.,Rutgers University | Ludwig J.,NBER | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Quantitative Criminology | Year: 2015

Objectives: While the economic model of crime suggests that improving post-prison labor market prospects should reduce recidivism, evaluations of previous employment-oriented re-entry programs have mixed results, possibly due to the multi-faceted challenges facing prisoners at the time of their release. We present an evaluation of an experiment that combines enhanced employment opportunities with wrap around services before and after release. Methods: This paper presents what we believe is the first randomized controlled trial (RCT) of a re-entry program that combines post-release subsidized work with “reach-in” social services provided prior to release. The sample was 236 high-risk offenders in Milwaukee with a history of violence or gang involvement. Results: We observe increased employment rates and earnings during the period when ex-offenders are eligible for subsidized jobs, and these gains persist throughout the year. The intervention has significant effects (p < 0.01) in reducing the likelihood of rearrest. The likelihood that the treatment group is re-imprisoned during the first year after release is lower than for controls (22 vs. 26 %) but the difference is not statistically significantly different from zero. Conclusions: The results of our RCT suggest that “reach-in” services to help improve human capital of inmates prior to release, together with wrap around services following release, boosts employment and earnings, although whether there is sufficient impact on recidivism for the intervention to pass a benefit-cost test is more uncertain. Average earnings for both treatment and control groups were very low; legal work simply does not seem that important in the economic lives of released prisoners. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Gowrisankaran G.,University of Arizona | Gowrisankaran G.,HEC Montreal | Lucarelli C.,Cornell University | Lucarelli C.,University of Los Andes, Chile | And 3 more authors.
International Journal of Industrial Organization | Year: 2011

This paper seeks to understand the impact of the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) Program on rural resident hospital choice. The program created a new class of hospital, the Critical Access Hospital (CAH), which receives more generous reimbursement in return for limiting its beds and services. The program's goal is to maintain access to hospital care. Estimates from a patient choice model show that patient utility from visiting a hospital was negatively affected by conversion. While the lower bed capacity appears to play a minor role, the reduction in services results in a 28% drop in admission rates. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Auffhammer M.,University of California at Berkeley | Schlenker W.,NBER | Schlenker W.,Columbia University | Schlenker W.,The New School
Energy Economics | Year: 2014

Agricultural production is heavily dependent on weather outcomes, and hence climate change has the potential to significantly alter the sector's productivity. Both reduced form studies as well as integrated assessment models have found that the agricultural sector might experience significant impacts. We discuss the advantages of empirical reduced-form studies and their link and potential usefulness to integrated assessment models. We further discuss challenges facing empirical studies and recent research that looks at the longer term changes in climate and attempts to measure adaptation. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Borenstein S.,University of California at Berkeley | Kellogg R.,NBER | Kellogg R.,University of Michigan
Energy Journal | Year: 2014

Beginning in early 2011, crude oil production in the U.S. Midwest and Canada surpassed the pipeline capacity to transport it to the Gulf Coast where it could access the world oil market. As a result, the U.S. ́ benchmarḱ crude oil price in Cushing, Oklahoma, declined substantially relative to internationally traded oil. In this paper, we study how this development affected prices for refined products, focusing on the markets for motor gasoline and diesel. We find that the relative decrease in Midwest crude oil prices did not pass through to wholesale gasoline and diesel prices. This result is consistent with evidence that the marginal gallon of fuel in the Midwest is still imported from coastal locations. Our findings imply that investments in new pipeline infrastructure between the Midwest and the Gulf Coast, such as the southern segment of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, will not raise gasoline prices in the Midwest. Copyright © 2014 by the IAEE. All rights reserved.

Cook A.,Resolution Economics LLC | Gaynor M.,Carnegie Mellon University | Gaynor M.,University of Bristol | Stephens Jr M.,NBER | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Health Economics | Year: 2012

We evaluate the impact of California Assembly Bill 394, which mandated maximum levels of patients per nurse in the hospital setting. When the law was passed, some hospitals already met the requirements, while others did not. Thus changes in staffing ratios from the pre- to post-mandate periods are driven in part by the legislation. We find persuasive evidence that AB394 had the intended effect of decreasing patient/nurse ratios in hospitals that previously did not meet mandated standards. However, these improvements in staffing ratios do not appear to be associated with relative improvements in measured patient safety in affected hospitals. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

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