Degree Year


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts




Ron Cheung
Hirschel Kasper
Barbara Craig
Carlos Chiappa


Prisons, Private prisons, Privatization, Economics, OLS


The coercive power of the state is unique among its responsibilities. And yet, like many government services, incarceration is becoming more widely privatized. These for-profit prisons market themselves as a solution to state-wide and local economic woes alike. Using standard regression analysis, I test the truth of these claims by exploring the relationship between privatized prisons and local economic health measured by county employment rate and income per capita. I find no significant relationship between the public/private nature of a prison and the employment rate, but there may be evidence of private prisons depressing county income. As we move forward in the 21st century, we must test any advertised differences before handing the authority to detain and punish our fellow citizens over to corporations.

Included in

Economics Commons