The consequences of sex offender residency restriction: Evidence from North Carolina

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Abstract

In recent years, a number of state and local governments in the United States have imposed residency restrictions on sex offenders to lower the risk of repeat sex offenses against children. The restriction prohibits sex offenders from living near places where children regularly congregate, such as schools and daycare centers. In this paper, I estimate the effect of the North Carolina residency restriction on recidivism patterns of affected sex offenders by exploiting a quasi-experimental variation in the timing of the release. I find that the restriction increases the likelihood of a new property crime conviction within two years of release by 2.5 percentage points. On the other hand, the effect of the North Carolina residency restriction on the risk of repeat sex offenses is mostly modest, although the restriction seems to decrease the number of repeat sex offenses among newly-released and young sex offenders. (JEL K14, K42)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-22
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Review of Law and Economics
Volume49
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017 Mar 1

Keywords

  • North Carolina
  • Recidivism
  • Residency restriction
  • Sex offender

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