Article | Journal of Political Economy

Criminal Recidivism after Prison and Electronic Monitoring

by Rafael Di Tella and Ernesto Schargrodsky


We study criminal recidivism in Argentina by focusing on the re-arrest rates of two groups: individuals released from prison and individuals released from electronic monitoring. Detainees are randomly assigned to judges, and ideological differences across judges translate into large differences in the allocation of electronic monitoring to an otherwise similar population. Using these peculiarities of the Argentine setting we argue that there is a large, negative causal effect on criminal recidivism of treating individuals with electronic monitoring relative to prison.

Keywords: crime; prison; recidivism; Behavior; Situation or Environment; Crime and Corruption; Argentina;


Di Tella, Rafael, and Ernesto Schargrodsky. "Criminal Recidivism after Prison and Electronic Monitoring." Journal of Political Economy 121, no. 1 (February 2013): 28–73.