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Collateral Costs: The Effects of Incarceration on the Employment and Earnings of Young Workers

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  • Holzer, Harry J.

    (Georgetown University)

Abstract

In this paper I review the empirical evidence on the effects of incarceration on the subsequent employment and earnings of less-educated young prisoners. In this discussion I include evidence from: 1) Employer surveys and audit studies of hiring; 2) Survey data (mostly from the NLSY79) and administrative data; and 3) state-level incarceration data linked to micro employment data for young black men. The strengths and weaknesses of each type of analysis are discussed as well. The preponderance of the evidence considered suggests that, all else equal, spells of incarceration do tend to reduce subsequent employment and earnings for those with criminal records.

Suggested Citation

  • Holzer, Harry J., 2007. "Collateral Costs: The Effects of Incarceration on the Employment and Earnings of Young Workers," IZA Discussion Papers 3118, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3118
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bruce Western & Christopher Muller, 2013. "Mass Incarceration, Macrosociology, and the Poor," The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, , vol. 647(1), pages 166-189, May.
    2. Sciulli Dario, 2010. "Conviction, Partial Adverse Selection and Labor Market Discrimination," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(2), pages 275-302, December.
    3. 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.
    4. John Schmitt & Kris Warner, 2010. "The High Budgetary Cost of Incarceration," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2010-28, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
    5. Amanda Agan & Sonja Starr, 2016. "Ban the Box, Criminal Records, and Statistical Discrimination: A Field Experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00539, The Field Experiments Website.
    6. Pallab Kumar Ghosh, 2018. "The Short-Run Effects of the Great Recession on Crime," Journal of Economics, Race, and Policy, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 92-111, September.
    7. Robynn Cox, 2016. "The Effect of Private Sector Work Opportunities in Prison on Labor Market Outcomes of the Formerly Incarcerated," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 37(4), pages 412-440, December.
    8. Christian Brown, 2017. "Maternal Incarceration and Children's Education and Labor Market Outcomes," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 31(1), pages 43-58, March.
    9. Jeremiah Richey, 2016. "An Odd Couple: Monotone Instrumental Variables and Binary Treatments," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(6), pages 1099-1110, June.
    10. Ignacio Munyo, 2015. "The Juvenile Crime Dilemma," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(2), pages 201-211, April.
    11. Richardson, Lindsey & Wood, Evan & Kerr, Thomas, 2013. "The impact of social, structural and physical environmental factors on transitions into employment among people who inject drugs," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 126-133.
    12. Sciulli, Dario, 2010. "Conviction, Gender and Labour Market Status: A Propensity Score Matching Approach," MPRA Paper 25054, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Surajeet Chakravarty & Todd R. Kaplan & Luke Lindsay, 2020. "Increasing Employment Through the Partial Release of Information," Discussion Papers 2001, University of Exeter, Department of Economics, revised 2021.
    14. Pallab K. Ghosh & Gary A. Hoover & Zexuan Liu, 2020. "Do State Minimum Wages Affect the Incarceration Rate?," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 86(3), pages 845-872, January.
    15. Michael Svarer, 2011. "Crime and partnerships," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 307-325, September.
    16. Köllő, János & Czafit, Bence, 2014. "Labor Market Careers Before and After Incarceration," IZA Discussion Papers 8644, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    17. Bence Czafit & János Köllő, 2015. "Employment and wages before and after incarceration – evidence from Hungary," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-21, December.
    18. Robynn Cox, 2012. "The Impact of Mass Incarceration on the Lives of African American Women," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 203-212, June.
    19. Robynn Cox & Sally Wallace, 2016. "Identifying the Link Between Food Security and Incarceration," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 82(4), pages 1062-1077, April.
    20. Amanda Geller & Irwin Garfinkel & Bruce Western, 2011. "Paternal Incarceration and Support for Children in Fragile Families," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 48(1), pages 25-47, February.
    21. Peter Leasure & Robert J. Kaminski, 2021. "The Effectiveness of Certificates of Relief: A Correspondence Audit of Hiring Outcomes," Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 18(4), pages 849-875, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    incarceration; employment; earnings;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor

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