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Title: The Labor Market Consequences of Incarceration
Authors: Western, Bruce
Weiman, David
Kling, Jeffrey R.
Keywords: criminal offender; inmate; employment; earnings
Issue Date: 1-Jan-2001
Citation: Reprinted in Crime and Delinquency, Volume 47, No. 3, July 2001.
Series/Report no.: Working Papers (Princeton University. Industrial Relations Section) ; 450
Abstract: Rapid growth in the incarceration rate over the last two decades has made prison time a routine event in the life course of young economically disadvantaged, black and Hispanic men. Although incarceration may now have large effects on economic inequality, only a few studies systematically examine the labor market experiences of ex-offenders. We review the mechanisms that plausibly link incarceration to employment and earnings and discuss the challenges of causal inference for a highly self-selected sample of criminal offenders. There is little consensus about the labor market effects of a variety of justice system sanctions, but there is consistent evidence for the negative effects of prison time on earnings, particularly among older or white-collar offenders. The labor market effects of incarceration are not yet well understood, but prior research suggests several promising avenues for future work.
Appears in Collections:IRS Working Papers

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