Incarceration of African American Men and the Impacts on Women and Children

93 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2020 Last revised: 23 Feb 2021

See all articles by Sitian Liu

Sitian Liu

Queen's University - Department of Economics

Date Written: April 29, 2020

Abstract

This paper investigates the causal effects of black male incarceration on black women’s marriage and labor market outcomes, and black children’s family structure and long-run economic outcomes. To establish causality, I construct an instrumental variable for the incarceration rate, which parameterizes plausibly exogenous changes in sentencing policies across states and over years. I find that black male incarceration reduces black women’s marriage but increases employment for more-educated women. It also increases out-of-wedlock births and reduces black children’s educational attainment. Notably, increasing incarceration due to harsher sentencing policies that (i) incarcerate more arrestees or (ii) induce longer sentences has different effects.

Keywords: Mass Incarceration, Sentencing Policy, Marriage Market, Children

JEL Classification: J12, J13, K14

Suggested Citation

Liu, Sitian, Incarceration of African American Men and the Impacts on Women and Children (April 29, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3601259 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3601259

Sitian Liu (Contact Author)

Queen's University - Department of Economics ( email )

94 University Avenue
Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.sitian-liu.com

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