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Labor Market Careers before and after Incarceration

Author

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  • János Kollo

    () (Institute of Economics, Center for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences)

  • Bence Czafit

    () (Budapest Institute for Policy Analysis)

Abstract

We study the entry to formal employment and earnings of a large sample of convicts released from Hungarian prisons in 2002-2008. We identify the effect of the prison service on post-release careers by exploiting differences in the timing of incarceration, on the one hand, and estimating fixed effects models, on the other. For convicts with a single prison spell,we find initially negative effect on employment that turns positive after about one year while the impact on wages is permanently negative. A comparison with recidivists, for whom the employment effect is negative and the wage effect is weaker, suggests that these results are driven by a drop in the reservation wages of ‘converted’ criminals rather than the lack of discrimination. This reading is supported by further data showing that the ex-inmates, on average, make increased effort to find legitimate sources of living and support to finding jobs.

Suggested Citation

  • János Kollo & Bence Czafit, 2014. "Labor Market Careers before and after Incarceration," Budapest Working Papers on the Labour Market 1408, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:has:bworkp:1408
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gronau, Reuben, 1977. "Leisure, Home Production, and Work-The Theory of the Allocation of Time Revisited," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(6), pages 1099-1123, December.
    2. Francesco Drago & Roberto Galbiati & Pietro Vertova, 2009. "The Deterrent Effects of Prison: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(2), pages 257-280, April.
    3. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    incarceration; unemployment; wage loss; discrimination;

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J39 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Other

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