Effect of Employer Access to Criminal History Data on the Labor Market Outcomes of Ex-Offenders and Non-Offenders
AbstractSince 1997, states have begun to make criminal history records publicly available over the Internet. This paper exploits this previously unexamined variation to identify the effect of expanded employer access to criminal history data on the labor market outcomes of ex-offenders and non-offenders. Employers express a strong aversion to hiring ex-offenders, but there is likely asymmetric information about criminal records. Wider availability of criminal history records should adversely affect the labor market outcomes of ex-offenders. A model of statistical discrimination also predicts that non-offenders from groups with high rates of criminal offense should have improved labor market outcomes when criminal history records become more accessible. This paper tests these hypotheses with criminal and labor market histories from the 1997 cohort of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. I find evidence that labor market outcomes are worse for ex-offenders once state criminal history records become available over the Internet. Non-offenders from highly offending groups do not appear, however, to have significantly better labor market outcomes. The sign of the non-offenders estimates are consistent with the predictions of the statistical discrimination model, but the estimates are not significantly different from zero. These estimates may be confounded by a short sample period and ongoing human capital investments, but the research design provides a unique setting for testing theories of statistical discrimination.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13935.
Date of creation: Apr 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Keith Finlay. "Effect of Employer Access to Criminal History Data on the Labor Market Outcomes of Ex-Offenders and Non-Offenders," in David H. Autor, editor, "Studies of Labor Market Intermediation " University of Chicago Press (2009)
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Keith Finlay, 2009. "Effect of Employer Access to Criminal History Data on the Labor Market Outcomes of Ex-Offenders and Non-Offenders," NBER Chapters, in: Studies of Labor Market Intermediation, pages 89-125 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
- D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search, Learning, and Information
- J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
- J78 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Public Policy (including comparable worth)
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-04-21 (All new papers)
- NEP-LAB-2008-04-21 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-LAW-2008-04-21 (Law & Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Devah Pager, 2003. "The mark of a criminal record," Natural Field Experiments 00319, The Field Experiments Website.
- Grogger, Jeffrey, 1995. "The Effect of Arrests on the Employment and Earnings of Young Men," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(1), pages 51-71, February.
- Jeffrey R. Kling, 2006.
"Incarceration Length, Employment, and Earnings,"
NBER Working Papers
12003, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lance Lochner, 2003.
"Individual Perceptions of the Criminal Justice System,"
NBER Working Papers
9474, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lance Lochner, 2007. "Individual Perceptions of the Criminal Justice System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 444-460, March.
- Lance Lochner, 2005. "Individual Perceptions of the Criminal Justice System," 2005 Meeting Papers 452, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Rosa Cho & Robert LaLonde, 2005. "The Impact of Incarceration in State Prison on the Employment Prospects of Women," Working Papers 0510, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
- W. Kip Viscusi, 1986. "Market Incentives for Criminal Behavior," NBER Chapters, in: The Black Youth Employment Crisis, pages 301-351 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Nagin, Daniel & Waldfogel, Joel, 1995. "The effects of criminality and conviction on the labor market status of young British offenders," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 109-126, January.
- Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004.
"Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 991-1013, September.
- Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2003. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 9873, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- repec:feb:natura:0020 is not listed on IDEAS
- Cho, Rosa & LaLonde, Robert J., 2005. "The Impact of Incarceration in State Prison on the Employment Prospects of Women," IZA Discussion Papers 1792, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- David H. Autor & David Scarborough, 2004. "Will Job Testing Harm Minority Workers?," NBER Working Papers 10763, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Holzer, Harry J & Raphael, Steven & Stoll, Michael A, 2006. "Perceived Criminality, Criminal Background Checks, and the Racial Hiring Practices of Employers," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 451-80, October.
- Hjalmarsson, Randi, 2008. "Criminal justice involvement and high school completion," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 613-630, March.
- Wozniak, Abigail, 2012. "Discrimination and the Effects of Drug Testing on Black Employment," IZA Discussion Papers 6605, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Dara N. Lee, 2011. "The Digital Scarlet Letter: The Effect of Online Criminal Records on Crime," Working Papers 1118, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.