“Recidivism and Neighborhood Institutions: Evidence from the Rise of the Pentecostal Church in Chile”
Coautoreado con Jorge García-Hombrados (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
Abstract: Using rich administrative data from Chile, we investigate how the context to which young inmates are released affects their probability of returning to prison. We exploit the variation generated by the opening of new Pentecostal churches and in a difference-in-differences setting, we compare the trajectories of former prisoners from the same broad neighborhood who live at different distances from the new church. We find that the opening of a new Pentecostal church significantly reduces recidivism among individuals who served sentences related to property crimes; the effects are smaller and less precise for more severe crimes. We discuss three broad classes of mechanisms and present evidence consistent with changes in the opportunity cost of committing crime driven by access to healthier networks.
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