IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/13935.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Effect of Employer Access to Criminal History Data on the Labor Market Outcomes of Ex-Offenders and Non-Offenders

Author

Listed:
  • Keith Finlay

Abstract

Since 1997, states have begun to make criminal history records publicly available over the Internet. This paper exploits this previously unexamined variation to identify the effect of expanded employer access to criminal history data on the labor market outcomes of ex-offenders and non-offenders. Employers express a strong aversion to hiring ex-offenders, but there is likely asymmetric information about criminal records. Wider availability of criminal history records should adversely affect the labor market outcomes of ex-offenders. A model of statistical discrimination also predicts that non-offenders from groups with high rates of criminal offense should have improved labor market outcomes when criminal history records become more accessible. This paper tests these hypotheses with criminal and labor market histories from the 1997 cohort of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. I find evidence that labor market outcomes are worse for ex-offenders once state criminal history records become available over the Internet. Non-offenders from highly offending groups do not appear, however, to have significantly better labor market outcomes. The sign of the non-offenders estimates are consistent with the predictions of the statistical discrimination model, but the estimates are not significantly different from zero. These estimates may be confounded by a short sample period and ongoing human capital investments, but the research design provides a unique setting for testing theories of statistical discrimination.

Suggested Citation

  • Keith Finlay, 2008. "Effect of Employer Access to Criminal History Data on the Labor Market Outcomes of Ex-Offenders and Non-Offenders," NBER Working Papers 13935, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13935 Note: LS
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13935.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Devah Pager, 2003. "The mark of a criminal record," Natural Field Experiments 00319, The Field Experiments Website.
    2. Jeffrey Grogger, 1995. "The Effect of Arrests on the Employment and Earnings of Young Men," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 51-71.
    3. W. Kip Viscusi, 1986. "Market Incentives for Criminal Behavior," NBER Chapters,in: The Black Youth Employment Crisis, pages 301-351 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Lance Lochner, 2007. "Individual Perceptions of the Criminal Justice System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 444-460, March.
    5. 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.
    6. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 991-1013, September.
    7. Holzer, Harry J & Raphael, Steven & Stoll, Michael A, 2006. "Perceived Criminality, Criminal Background Checks, and the Racial Hiring Practices of Employers," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 451-480, October.
    8. Jeffrey R. Kling, 2006. "Incarceration Length, Employment, and Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 863-876, June.
    9. Cho, Rosa & LaLonde, Robert J., 2005. "The Impact of Incarceration in State Prison on the Employment Prospects of Women," IZA Discussion Papers 1792, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. David H. Autor & David Scarborough, 2008. "Does Job Testing Harm Minority Workers? Evidence from Retail Establishments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(1), pages 219-277.
    11. David H. Autor & David Scarborough, 2004. "Will Job Testing Harm Minority Workers?," NBER Working Papers 10763, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Hjalmarsson, Randi, 2008. "Criminal justice involvement and high school completion," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 613-630, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Abigail Wozniak, 2015. "Discrimination and the Effects of Drug Testing on Black Employment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 97(3), pages 548-566, July.
    2. Mueller-Smith, Michael & Schnepel, Kevin T., 2016. "Avoiding Convictions: Regression Discontinuity Evidence on Court Deferrals for First-Time Drug Offenders," IZA Discussion Papers 10409, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. David Neumark, 2016. "Experimental Research on Labor Market Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 22022, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Richey, Jeremiah, 2012. "The Causal Effects of Criminal Convictions on Labor Market Outcomes in Young Men: A Nonparametric Bounds Analysis," MPRA Paper 56112, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Dara N. Lee, 2011. "The Digital Scarlet Letter: The Effect of Online Criminal Records on Crime," Working Papers 1118, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
    6. Jennifer L. Doleac & Benjamin Hansen, 2016. "Does “Ban the Box” Help or Hurt Low-Skilled Workers? Statistical Discrimination and Employment Outcomes When Criminal Histories are Hidden," NBER Working Papers 22469, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Richey, Jeremiah, 2015. "Shackled labor markets: Bounding the causal effects of criminal convictions in the U.S," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 17-24.
    8. Schnepel, Kevin, 2014. "Good Jobs and Recidivism," Working Papers 2014-10, University of Sydney, School of Economics.
    9. Clifford, Robert & Shoag, Daniel, 2016. "“No more credit score”: employer credit check bans and signal substitution," Working Papers 16-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    10. Mueller-Smith, Michael & Schnepel, Kevin T., 2016. "Avoiding Convictions: Regression Discontinuity Evidence on Court Deferrals for First-Time Drug Offenders," Working Papers 2016-16, University of Sydney, School of Economics.
    11. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 2014. "Labor Market Fluidity and Economic Performance," NBER Working Papers 20479, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • J78 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Public Policy (including comparable worth)
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13935. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.