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


Harry J. Holzer


Georgetown University - Public Policy Institute (GPPI); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

October 2007

IZA Discussion Paper No. 3118

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.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 42

Keywords: incarceration, employment, earnings

JEL Classification: J15, J2

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Date posted: November 22, 2007  

Suggested Citation

Holzer, Harry J., Collateral Costs: The Effects of Incarceration on the Employment and Earnings of Young Workers (October 2007). IZA Discussion Paper No. 3118. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1031709

Contact Information

Harry J. Holzer (Contact Author)
Georgetown University - Public Policy Institute (GPPI) ( email )
3600 N Street, NW Suite 200
Washington, DC 20057
United States
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
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