Graduation Year

Spring 2012

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Manfred Keil

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Rights Information

© 2012 Matthew P. Laredo


This paper shows that criminality causes a significant decrease in the earning potential of individuals. In addition, there is evidence to support that criminality has the same negative effect on earnings regardless of type of sentencing, whether probation or incarceration. Previous studies indicate that ex-convicts do not benefit from in-prison based programs. The purpose of this paper is to identify the short-term earning differentials between offenders and their law-abiding counter parts and offer insight as to how this can affect recidivism. Research shows that recidivists suffer the largest wage differentials, which significantly lowers their employment utility. This reduction of labor market outcomes may conversely promote the utility an individual receives from a life of crime.