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Steven Raphael

Professor and James D. Marver Chair in Public Policy

Steven Raphael


Steven Raphael is a Professor of Public Policy at UC Berkeley and holds the James D. Marver Chair at the Goldman School of Public Policy. His research focuses on the economics of low-wage labor markets, housing, and the economics of crime and corrections.  His most recent research focuses on the social consequences of the large increases in U.S. incarceration rates and racial disparities in criminal justice outcomes.  Raphael also works on immigration policy, research questions pertaining to various aspects of racial inequality, the economics of labor unions, social insurance policies, homelessness, and low-income housing.  Raphael is the author (with Michael Stoll) of Why Are so Many Americans in Prison? (published by the Russell Sage Foundation Press) and The New Scarlet Letter? Negotiating the U.S. Labor Market with a Criminal Record (published by the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research).  Raphael is research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, the California Policy Lab, the  University of Michigan National Poverty Center, the University of Chicago Crime Lab, IZA, Bonn Germany, and the Public Policy Institute of California.  Raphael holds a Ph.D. in economics from UC Berkeley.

Curriculum Vitae

Download a PDF (70KB, updated 08-15-2017)

Areas of Expertise

  • Labor and Employment
  • Race & Ethnicity
  • Criminal Justice
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Economic Policy
  • Program Evaluation
  • Housing & Urban Policy
  • Immigration
  • Poverty & Inequality
  • Discrimination
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Labor Economics
  • Racial Inequality
  • Urban Economics

Last updated on 02/17/2019

Working Papers

  • Managing Pretrial Misconduct: An Experimental Evaluation of HOPE Pretrial

    Co-authors: Janet Davdison, George King, Jens Ludwig

    GSPP Working Paper: January 2019 ()

    In this project we evaluate the application of the case management and treatment delivery practices developed under the HOPE probation strategy to pretrial individuals who are conditionally released from jail subject to criminal justice supervision.  In the jurisdiction we study (Honolulu, Hawaii), defendants on supervised release are typically monitored by pretrial officers located at the county jail.  The revocation of supervised release occurs once a defendant has failed to comply several times with a set of pre-specified conditions, including but not necessarily limited to refraining from drug use and additional criminal activity, maintaining contact with the assigned pretrial officers, and making all scheduled court dates.  The intervention we evaluate applies random drug testing in conjunction with swift, certain, consistent, and proportionate sanctions to pretrial misconduct.  That is to say, misconduct is met with quickly administered arrest and re-incarceration, yet subsequent jail spells are proportionate to the seriousness of the violation.  The intervention also includes drug treatment interventions for those who repeatedly fail drug tests (or who request treatment services) and direct interaction following each violation with the presiding judge of a court devoted to HOPE probation as well as HOPE pretrial defendants. 

    Between September 2014 and August 2016, felony defendants who failed to make bail and who were granted supervised release were randomly assigned to either status-quo pretrial services or to the HOPE pretrial treatment group.  We use administrative data on drug tests, revocations, supervised release case dispositions, and criminal history records to assess whether applying HOPE to individuals on pretrial supervised release impacts various measures of pretrial misconduct, criminal case disposition, and post-disposition arrests.  Our findings are the following:

    (1) HOPE treatment group members experience more pretrial supervised release revocations most of which are better characterized as modifications but fewer permanent revocations ending the supervised release term relative to control group members. 

    (2) Treatment under HOPE pretrial reduced the proportion of drug tests resulting in failure.  The drug test failure rate for treatment group members was roughly 21 to 30 percent lower than the comparable failure rate observed for the control group with the difference statistically significant.

    (3) HOPE treatment did not impact total jail days served between the supervised release date and the disposition date for the criminal case.  However, treatment group members serve jail days earlier in their supervised release term while control group members serve more jail days later.

    (4) Average total pretrial arrests occurring after supervised release does not differ significantly between the treatment and control group.  However, treatment group members are significantly and substantially less likely to be arrested with a new criminal charge.

    (5) Treatment group members are less likely to be convicted and less likely to be convicted for a felony.

    (6) We do not find statistically significant effects of treatment on post-disposition arrest outcomes.

    PDF (585KB)

  • Racial Disparities in ther Asquisition of Juvenile Arrest Records

    Co-author: Sandra Rozo

    GSPP Working Paper (August 2017)

    PDF (601KB)

  • The Effect of Mandatory Minimum Punishments on the Efficiency of Criminal Justice Resource Allocation

    Co-author: Sarah Tahamont

    GSPP Working Paper (August 2017)

    PDF (641KB)

  • The Effects of California's Enhanced Drug and Contraband Interdiction Program on Drug Abuse and Inmate Misconduct in California's Prisons

    Co-authors: Magnus Lofstrom, Brandon Martin

    GSPP Working Paper (April 2017)

    PDF (660KB)

  • Deaths in Custody in California: 2005 through 2014

    Co-author: Justin McCrary

    GSPP Working Paper: GSPP (September 2015)

    PDF (341KB)

Selected Publications

Prison Reform: Alternatives to Mass Incarceration

Prison Reform: Alternatives to Mass Incarceration

Steven Raphael, Henry E. Brady

Date: May 16, 2016 Duration: 29 minutes

2009 Wildavsky Forum Panel Discussion: Changing Inequality: What produces and changes levels of inequality?

2009 Wildavsky Forum Panel Discussion: Changing Inequality: What produces and changes levels of inequality?

Dr. Rebecca M. Blank, Lee Friendman, Mike Hout, Steven Raphael, Robert Reich

Event: 2009 Wildavsky Forum - Dr. Rebecca Blank

Date: March 13, 2009 Duration: 117 minutes



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Office Hours

Tuesday 12:00 - 2:00 PM and by appointment