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Criminal background checks and recidivism: Bounding the causal impact

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  • Siwach, Garima

Abstract

This paper estimates the effect of employment denial based on a criminal background check on recidivism outcomes for individuals with convictions who are provisionally hired in the New York State healthcare industry. Using institutional knowledge about the New York State Department of Health’s screening process, I build structural assumptions on potential outcomes for different subsamples in my data, which partially identifies the Average Treatment Effects. I find a 0–2.2 percentage-point increase in the likelihood of subsequent arrests caused by employment denial, with substantial heterogeneity across the sample. Specifically, I find that the a priori highest risk individuals are most likely to be impacted by a loss of employment opportunity based on their criminal background. Policy implications of these results are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Siwach, Garima, 2017. "Criminal background checks and recidivism: Bounding the causal impact," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 74-85.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:52:y:2017:i:c:p:74-85
    DOI: 10.1016/j.irle.2017.08.002
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    Cited by:

    1. Monnery, Benjamin & Wolff, François-Charles & Henneguelle, Anaïs, 2020. "Prison, semi-liberty and recidivism: Bounding causal effects in a survival model," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Criminal background checks; Employment; Recidivism; Bounds;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J48 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Particular Labor Markets; Public Policy
    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General
    • K31 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Labor Law
    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General

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