Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Roberto Pedace

Reader 2

Nayana Bose

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This paper examines the impact of prison closures on economic indicators in rural and urban counties in the United States using panel data regression analysis. The dataset focuses on the years 2001 to 2020 and includes 81 counties across 19 states. The analysis uses two key predictors, a dummy variable indicating the presence of a prison in a county, and a continuous variable representing the number of prisons in a county each year. The results reveal no significant impact of the presence of prisons on real GDP, unemployment, per capita personal income, or employment. These results have important policy implications for the use of prison closures as a cost-cutting measure and suggest that the spillover effects of closing a prison on the economic well-being of the county are limited.