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Prison-Based Education and Re-Entry into the Mainstream Labor Market

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  • John H. Tyler
  • Jeffrey R. Kling

Abstract

We estimate the post-release economic effects of participation in prison-based General Educational Development (GED) programs using a panel of earnings records and a rich set of individual information from administrative data in the state of Florida. Fixed effects estimates of the impact of participating in the GED education program show post-release quarterly earnings gains of about 15 percent for program participants relative to observationally similar non-participants. We also show, however, that these earnings gains accrue only to racial/ethnic minority offenders and any GED-related earnings gains for this group seem to fade in the third year after release from prison. Estimates comparing offenders who obtained a GED to those who participated in GED-related prison education programs but left prison without a GED show no systematic evidence of an independent impact of the credential itself on post-release quarterly earnings.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12114.

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Date of creation: Mar 2006
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Publication status: published as Revised and published in "Barriers to Reentry? The Labor Market for Released Prisoners in Post-Industrial America". Edited by Shawn Bushway, Michael Stoll, and David Weiman (New York: Russell Sage Foundation Press, 2007, 227-256)
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12114

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  1. Cameron, Stephen V & Heckman, James J, 1993. "The Nonequivalence of High School Equivalents," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages 1-47, January.
  2. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
  3. John H. Tyler & Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett, 2000. "Estimating The Labor Market Signaling Value Of The GED," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 431-468, May.
  4. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel Sullivan, 1992. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 92-11, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  5. Orley Ashenfelter & Dean Hyslop, 2001. "Measuring the effect of arbitration on wage levels: The case of police officers," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(2), pages 316-328, January.
  6. Gary S. Becker, 1975. "Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis, with Special Reference to Education, 2nd ed," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck75-1, octubre-d.
  7. Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett & John H. Tyler, 1999. "Who Benefits from Obtaining a GED? Evidence from High School and Beyond," NBER Working Papers 7172, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Bruce Western & Becky Pettit, 2000. "Incarceration and racial inequality in men's employment," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(1), pages 3-16, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Anne Morrison Piehl & Geoffrey Williams, 2010. "Institutional Requirements for Effective Imposition of Fines," NBER Working Papers 16476, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Edgar Villa & María Laura Alzúa & Catherine Rodríguez, 2008. "The effect of education on in-prison conflict: evidence from Argentina," DOCUMENTOS DE ECONOMÍA 004546, UNIVERSIDAD JAVERIANA - BOGOTÁ.
  3. Heckman, James J., 2008. "Schools, Skills, and Synapses," IZA Discussion Papers 3515, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Omar Al-Ubaydli & Min Sok Lee, 2008. "An Experimental Study of Asymmetric Reciprocity," Working Papers 1006, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science, revised Jul 2008.
  5. María Laura Alzúa & Catherine Rodriguez & Edgar Villa, 2010. "The Quality of Life in Prisons: Do Educational Programs Reduce In-Prison Conflicts?," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Crime: Lessons for and from Latin America, pages 239-264 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Holzer, Harry J., 2007. "Collateral Costs: The Effects of Incarceration on the Employment and Earnings of Young Workers," IZA Discussion Papers 3118, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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