Conviction, Partial Adverse Selection and Labour Market Discrimination
This paper analyses data from the 6th sweep of National Child Development Study to investigate the labour market perspective of convicted individuals. Decomposition analysis makes it clear that convicted workers are actually discriminated against both in terms of employment and wage with respect to non-convicted. Adopting a simple theoretical model accounting for partial adverse selection problem in the hiring process, I show that discrimination is not only explained in terms of economic stigma but also may derive from the inefficiency of the police/justice system in detecting crime and punishing offenders. In fact, while firms may apply economic stigma to recover the expected extracosts from hiring convicted workers, firms rationality may impose to charge on convicted workers also unobservable expected extra-costs deriving from offenders non-convicted hired. The resulting over-stigma is increasing with the probability of offending and with the level of expected extra-costs, while it is decreasing with the probability of convicting offenders.
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