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Ex-Incarceree/Convict Status: Beneficial for Self-Employment and Entrepreneurship?

Author

Listed:
  • Armel Irankunda
  • Gregory N. Price
  • Norense E. Uzamere
  • Miesha J. Williams

Abstract

This article considers whether ex-incarceree/convict status favorably conditions the decision to be self-employed—a proxy for entrepreneurship. With data from the U.S. General Social Survey, we estimate the parameters of simple Probit and Bivariate Probit treatment specifications of individual self-employment outcomes as a function of ex-incarceree/convict status, and several measures of individual risk-taking propensities. Parameter estimates reveal that ex-incarceree/convict status has a positive and significant treatment effect on self-employment, particularly for Black Americans, after controlling for various measures of individual risk propensities. Our results suggest that the expansion of entrepreneurship training programs and the elimination of any barriers that restrict access to start-up capital for ex-incarcerees/convicts would reduce crime and recidivism, ameliorate mass incarceration, and complement pro-growth economic policies that induce more self-employment and entrepreneurship. JEL Classification : J01, J24, L26, Z13

Suggested Citation

  • Armel Irankunda & Gregory N. Price & Norense E. Uzamere & Miesha J. Williams, 2020. "Ex-Incarceree/Convict Status: Beneficial for Self-Employment and Entrepreneurship?," The American Economist, Sage Publications, vol. 65(1), pages 144-162, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:amerec:v:65:y:2020:i:1:p:144-162
    DOI: 10.1177/0569434519846624
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    entrepreneurship; risk propensities; ex-convicts; ex-incarcerees; treatment effects;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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