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Explaining the Consequences of Imprisonment for Union Formation and Dissolution in Denmark

Peter Fallesen and Lars H. Andersen

Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 2017, vol. 36, issue 1, 154-177

Abstract: Crime and subsequent imprisonment reduces men's chances on the marriage market and increases their divorce risk, but existing research, with a few notable exceptions, is silent about the underlying mechanisms driving these effects. This article studies the effect of home confinement under electronic monitoring as a noncustodial alternative to imprisonment on the risk of relationship dissolution and being single, thereby distinguishing between effects of incarceration and of committing crime. We study a policy that expanded the use of electronic monitoring to address nonrandom selection into electronic monitoring instead of in prison. Results from a sample of 4,522 men show that home confinement under electronic monitoring significantly and persistently lowers the risk both of being single and of becoming single during the first five years following conviction. The results show that one of the tools that could promote decarceration trends also secures better relationship outcomes of convicted men.

Date: 2017
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Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:36:y:2017:i:1:p:154-177