- Series Information
- The Oxford Handbook of The Economics of Poverty
- Introduction and Overview
- The Alleviation of Poverty: How Far Have We Come?
- Consumption and Income Poverty in the United States
- Poverty Lines across the World
- Theories of Poverty: Traditional Explanations and New Directions
- Poverty and the Labor Market
- Employment in Black Urban Labor Markets: Problems and Solutions
- Low-Skilled Immigrants and the US Labor Market
- Poverty and Low Earnings in the Developing World
- Antipoverty Programs for Poor Children and Families
- Education and the Poor
- Poverty, Health, and Healthcare
- Geographical Price Variation, Housing Assistance, and Poverty
- Distributions in Motion: Economic Growth, Inequality, and Poverty Dynamics
- Is Poverty Incompatible with Asset Accumulation?
- Poverty Transitions
- Macroeconomic Fluctuations and Poverty
- Obesity, Poverty, and the Ability to Pay for Calories
- Environmental Justice: Do Poor and Minority Populations Face More Hazards?
- Female Trust in Government and Gender Income Inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa
- Crime, Incarceration, and Poverty
- Payday Lending: New Research and the Big Question
- An Assessment of the Effectiveness of Antipoverty Programs in the United States
- Are Economists in Over Their Heads?
- Antipoverty Policy: The Role of Individualist and Structural Perspectives
- A New Statistic: The US Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure
Abstract and Keywords
This article examines the relationships between poverty, low incomes, criminal participation, and the risk of incarceration. It begins with an empirical portrait of the incarcerated by using a nationally representative survey of U.S. prison inmates. It documents the demographic and human-capital characteristics of the incarcerated and how these characteristics vary between state and federal prison inmates. Next, it characterizes the relative risks of incarceration for various demographic subgroups within the United States. It presents a discussion of theoretical explanations linking poverty with higher rates of criminal offending, and consequently higher punishment levels. It considers the close connection between race and criminal offending in the United States. Finally, the relationship between human capital and participation in crime is discussed.
Steven Raphael is Professor of Public Policy, Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley.
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