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Ban The Box, Convictions, And Public Employment


  • Terry‐Ann Craigie


Ban the Box (BTB) policies mandate deferred access to criminal history until later in the hiring process. However, these policies chiefly target public employers. The study is the first to focus on the primary goal of BTB reform, by measuring the impact of BTB policies on the probability of public employment for those with convictions. To execute the analyses, the study uses data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 Cohort (2005–2015) and difference‐in‐difference (DD) estimation. The study finds that BTB policies raise the probability of public employment for those with convictions by about 30% on average. Some scholars argue that BTB policies encourage statistical discrimination against young low‐skilled minority males. The study employs triple‐difference (DDD) estimation to test for statistical discrimination, but uncovers no evidence to support the hypothesis. (JEL J15, J71, J78, K4).

Suggested Citation

  • Terry‐Ann Craigie, 2020. "Ban The Box, Convictions, And Public Employment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 58(1), pages 425-445, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:58:y:2020:i:1:p:425-445
    DOI: 10.1111/ecin.12837

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    Cited by:

    1. Krista Ruffini & Aaron Sojourner & Abigail Wozniak, 2021. "Who'S In And Who'S Out Under Workplace Covid Symptom Screening?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 40(2), pages 614-641, March.
    2. Nayoung Rim & Roman Rivera & Andrea Kiss & Bocar Ba, 2020. "The Black-White Recognition Gap in Award Nominations," Working Papers 2020-065, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    3. Kabir Dasgupta & Keshar Ghimire & Alexander Plum, 2021. "We focus on New Zealand’s clean slate legislation to analyze whether automatic concealment of criminal records improves ex-offenders’ labor market outcomes. Based on the legislation’s eligibility requ," Working Papers 2021-06, Auckland University of Technology, Department of Economics.
    4. Danielle Li & Lindsey R. Raymond & Peter Bergman, 2020. "Hiring as Exploration," NBER Working Papers 27736, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • J78 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Public Policy (including comparable worth)
    • K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior


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