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Declining employment among young black less-educated men: The role of incarceration and child support

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  • Harry J. Holzer

    (Georgetown University)

  • Paul Offner

    (Urban Institute)

  • Elaine Sorensen

    (Urban Institute)

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    Abstract

    In this paper, we explore the continuing decline in employment and labor force participation of nonenrolled Black men between the ages of 16 and 34 who have a high school education or less in the 1980s and 1990s. We focus on two fairly new developments: (1) the dramatic growth in the number of young Black men who have been incarcerated and (2) strengthened enforcement of child support policies. We analyze micro-level data from the Current Population Survey Outgoing Rotation Groups (CPS-ORG), into which state-level data over time on incarceration rates and child support enforcement have been merged. Our results indicate that previous incarceration and child support enforcement can account for half or more of the decline in employment activity among Black men aged 25-34. Previous incarceration also contributes to the decline among those aged 16-24. © 2005 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/pam.20092
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

    Volume (Year): 24 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 329-350

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:24:y:2005:i:2:p:329-350

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    Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/34787/home

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    1. Levitt, Steven D, 1996. "The Effect of Prison Population Size on Crime Rates: Evidence from Prison Overcrowding Litigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 319-51, May.
    2. Richard B. Freeman & Harry J. Holzer, 1986. "The Black Youth Employment Crisis," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free86-1.
    3. Harry J. Holzer, 1984. "Black Youth Nonemployment: Duration and Job Search," NBER Working Papers 1276, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Kim B. Clark & Lawrence H. Summers, 1982. "The Dynamics of Youth Unemployment," NBER Chapters, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, in: The Youth Labor Market Problem: Its Nature, Causes, and Consequences, pages 199-234 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. George J. Borjas, 1986. "The Demographic Determinants of the Demand for Black Labor," NBER Chapters, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, in: The Black Youth Employment Crisis, pages 191-232 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Rebecca M. Blank, 2002. "Evaluating Welfare Reform in the United States," NBER Working Papers 8983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Chinhui Juhn, 2003. "Labor market dropouts and trends in the wages of black and white men," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(4), pages 643-662, July.
    8. Charles L. Schultze, 2003. "The Consumer Price Index: Conceptual Issues and Practical Suggestions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 3-22, Winter.
    9. W. Kip Viscusi, 1986. "Market Incentives for Criminal Behavior," NBER Chapters, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, in: The Black Youth Employment Crisis, pages 301-351 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. R. M. Hauser & M. H. Huang, . "Trends in Black-White Test-Score Differentials," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty 1110-96, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
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    Cited by:
    1. Karen Guzzo & Frank Furstenberg, 2007. "Multipartnered fertility among American men," Demography, Springer, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 583-601, August.
    2. Robert D. Plotnick & Irwin Garfinkel & Sara S. McLanahan & Inhoe Ku, 2007. "The impact of child support enforcement policy on nonmarital childbearing," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(1), pages 79-98.
    3. Huang, Chien-Chung & Han, Ke-Qing, 2012. "Child support enforcement in the United States: Has policy made a difference?," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 622-627.
    4. Edelman, Peter B. & Holzer, Harry J., 2013. "Connecting the Disconnected: Improving Education and Employment Outcomes Among Disadvantaged Youth," IZA Policy Papers, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) 56, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Lawrence M. Mead, 2010. "Why we need work programs for fathers," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(3), pages 610-616.
    6. Elaine Sorensen, 2010. "Rethinking public policy toward low-income fathers in the child support program," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(3), pages 604-610.
    7. Beck, Audrey N. & Finch, Brian K. & Lin, Shih-Fan & Hummer, Robert A. & Masters, Ryan K., 2014. "Racial disparities in self-rated health: Trends, explanatory factors, and the changing role of socio-demographics," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 163-177.
    8. Derek Neal & Armin Rick, 2014. "The Prison Boom and the Lack of Black Progress after Smith and Welch," NBER Working Papers 20283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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