Plus a Life Sentence? Incarceration’s Effects on Expected Lifetime Wage Growth

Colorado College Working Paper 2019-03 June 2019

22 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2019

See all articles by Theodore S. Corwin III

Theodore S. Corwin III

Colorado College - Department of Economics and Business

Daniel K. N. Johnson

Colorado College - Department of Economics and Business

Date Written: June 12, 2019

Abstract

The United States incarcerates citizens at rates higher than those of any other developed nation, with impacts on not only government budgets but economic growth rates. Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth for 1997, we model the effects of incarceration on wage growth rates using inverse probability weighted regression adjusted (IPWRA) propensity score matching to recognize the selection bias among the members of the sample who serve prison terms. Results show that incarceration reduces average lifetime income growth by one-third even for a relatively short earning period, with that depth depending on length of sentence, employment history, and education level in some surprising ways.

Keywords: Crime, Corrections, Earnings, Incarceration, Labor Income, Prisons, Punishment, Trust

JEL Classification: J310, J710, K140, K420, Z130

Suggested Citation

Corwin III, Theodore S. and Johnson, Daniel Kent Neil, Plus a Life Sentence? Incarceration’s Effects on Expected Lifetime Wage Growth (June 12, 2019). Colorado College Working Paper 2019-03 June 2019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3402790 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3402790

Theodore S. Corwin III

Colorado College - Department of Economics and Business ( email )

14 E Cache La Poudre Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
United States

Daniel Kent Neil Johnson (Contact Author)

Colorado College - Department of Economics and Business ( email )

14 E Cache La Poudre Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
United States
719-389-6654 (Phone)
719-389-6927 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://faculty1.coloradocollege.edu/~djohnson

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