Do Policymakers Locate Prisons for Economic Development?

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Todd Cherry Ph.D., Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: While public goods can provide an overall increase in welfare, ‘inferior’ public facilities produce externalities specifically impacting host locations. Heterogeneous jurisdictional attributes, however, can cause net social benefits to vary across potential host communities. Using data from a unique public works project, this paper empirically investigates whether policymakers consider heterogeneous conditions when locating prison facilities. Results indicate that policymakers follow a process that maximizes net social benefits by systematically delegating such facilities to lagging communities; thereby potentially using the public facilities for economic development. Additionally, results suggest that policymakers properly consider existing infrastructure and agglomeration economies in the siting mechanism.

Additional Information

Todd L. Cherry & Mitch Kunce (2001) "Do Policymakers Locate Prisons for Economic Development" Growth and Change Volume 32 Issue 4 pp. 533-547 Version of Record Available From (
Language: English
Date: 2001
environmental regulations

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