Discussion Papers no. 597

The relationship between employment and re-incarceration

Life after prison

We explore the relationship between formal employment and recidivism using a dataset that follows every Norwegian resident released from prison in 2003 for several years. By the end of 2006, 27 percent are re-incarcerated. Using a Cox proportional hazard model that controls for a host of individual characteristics, we find that the hazard of re-incarceration is 63 percent lower for those getting employed compared to those not getting employed. While some of the moderating association between employment and re-incarceration is accounted for by observable individual characteristics, the substantially lower hazard for those getting employed indicates a possibility of a considerable benign effect of employment on recidivism. Our analysis thus provides further indication that provision of employment opportunities can facilitate the return to society after release from prison.

Om publikasjonen


Life after prison. The relationship between employment and re-incarceration


Torbjørn Skardhamar, Kjetil Telle

Serie og -nummer

Discussion Papers no. 597


Statistics Norway


Discussion Papers



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Om Discussion Papers

Discussion papers comprise research papers intended for international journals and books. A preprint of a Discussion Paper may be longer and more elaborate than a standard journal article as it may include intermediate calculations, background material etc.