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The labor market consequences of political imprisonment in the former GDR

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  • Gürtzgen, Nicole
  • Hank, Karsten

Abstract

Barely any quantitative research has been devoted yet to the labor market consequences of incarceration for political offenses, which seems particularly unfortunate against the background of Europe's history of state persecution in the 20th century. Drawing on the example of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR), our paper seeks to gain a deeper understanding of how the experience of political imprisonment affected individuals subsequent career outcomes. In our empirical analysis, we exploit a one-percent sample drawn from a unique large-scale administrative data set (BASiD). To the best of our knowledge, our study provides unprecedented evidence on the labor market effects of political imprisonment, by (1) exploiting information on political imprisonment using administrative records; (2) differentiating between possible short and long-run consequences of political imprisonment; and (3) measuring outcomes before and after the transition from a centrally planned towards a market economy, thereby permitting us to distinguish the consequences of incarceration under different political and economic regimes.

Suggested Citation

  • Gürtzgen, Nicole & Hank, Karsten, 2015. "The labor market consequences of political imprisonment in the former GDR," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113134, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc15:113134
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jeffrey R. Kling, 2006. "Incarceration Length, Employment, and Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 863-876, June.
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    6. Aretz, Bodo, 2013. "Gender Differences in German Wage Mobility," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80003, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. Wolfgang Franz & Viktor Steiner, 2000. "Wages in the East German Transition Process: Facts and Explanations," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(3), pages 241-269, August.
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    10. Bohacek, Radim & Myck, Michał, 2010. "Persecution in Central Europe and its Consequences on the Lives of SHARE Respondents," MEA discussion paper series 10233, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    11. Rafael Lalive & Josef Zweimüller, 2009. "How Does Parental Leave Affect Fertility and Return to Work? Evidence from Two Natural Experiments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1363-1402.
    12. Joel Waldfogel, 1994. " The Effect of Criminal Conviction on Income and the Trust "Reposed in the Workmen"," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(1), pages 62-81.
    13. Myck, Michal & Bohacek, Radim, 2011. "Long Shadows of History: Persecution in Central Europe and Its Labor Market Consequences," IZA Discussion Papers 6130, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General
    • P37 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Legal

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