Misdemeanor Records and Employment Outcomes: An Experimental Study

Posted: 11 Sep 2018

Date Written: July 17, 2018


Objectives: This study examined whether misdemeanor drug convictions impact entry-level employment outcomes.

Methods: A multifactor between subjects correspondence design was used whereby fictitious resumes are sent to employers. Resumes were randomly assigned to one of three groups: no criminal record, one-year-old misdemeanor record, and a one-year-old felony record. Resumes were also randomly assigned with a distinctively White or African American name. Job type was used as an additional predictor.

Results: Results indicate that a misdemeanor conviction significantly hinders early employment outcomes for both African American and White applicants. However, results did not show statistically significant differences in callbacks between races.

Conclusions: These results should be utilized to better inform defendants, practitioners, and policy-makers on the negative impacts of low-level convictions.

Keywords: Criminal Records; Collateral Consequences of Conviction; Employment; Reentry; Misdemeanor

Suggested Citation

Leasure, Peter, Misdemeanor Records and Employment Outcomes: An Experimental Study (July 17, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3215438 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3215438

Peter Leasure (Contact Author)

York College of Pennsylvania ( email )

York, PA 17405-7199
United States

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