Ban the Box, Convictions, and Public Employment

(Forthcoming, Economic Inquiry)

75 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2017 Last revised: 29 Jul 2019

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 27, 2017


Ban the Box (BTB) policies mandate deferred access to criminal history until later in the hiring process. However, these policies chiefly target public employers. The study is the first to focus on the primary goal of BTB reform, by measuring the impact of BTB policies on the probability of public employment for those with convictions. To execute the analyses, the study uses data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 Cohort (2005-2015) and difference-in-difference (DD) estimation. The study finds that BTB policies raise the probability of public employment for those with convictions by about 30% on average. Some scholars argue that BTB policies encourage statistical discrimination against young low-skilled minority males. The study employs triple-difference (DDD) estimation to test for statistical discrimination, but uncovers no evidence to support the hypothesis.

Keywords: “Ban the Box”, Convictions, Criminal Records, Public Sector, Employment

JEL Classification: J15, J71, J78, K4

Suggested Citation

Craigie, Terry-Ann, Ban the Box, Convictions, and Public Employment (January 27, 2017). (Forthcoming, Economic Inquiry), Available at SSRN: or

Terry-Ann Craigie (Contact Author)

Smith College ( email )

10 Elm Street
Northampton, MA 01603
United States

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