Can you Erase the Mark of a Criminal Record? Labor Market Impacts of Criminal Record Remediation

80 Pages Posted: 8 May 2024

See all articles by Amanda Agan

Amanda Agan

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Andrew Garin

Carnegie Mellon University

Dmitri Koustas

University of Chicago

Alexandre Mas

University of California, Berkeley

Crystal Yang

Harvard Law School

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 7, 2024

Abstract

We investigate whether removing a previously-obtained criminal record improves employment outcomes. We estimate the causal impact of criminal record remediation laws that have been widely enacted with the goal of improving employment opportunities for millions of individuals with records. We find consistent evidence that removing an existing record does not improve labor market outcomes, on average. A notable exception is participation in gig work through online platforms, which often screen workers based on their records but not their employment histories. The evidence is consistent with records initially scarring labor market trajectories in a way that is difficult to undo later.

JEL Classification: J0,K0

Suggested Citation

Agan, Amanda and Garin, Andrew and Koustas, Dmitri and Mas, Alexandre and Yang, Crystal, Can you Erase the Mark of a Criminal Record? Labor Market Impacts of Criminal Record Remediation (May 7, 2024). University of Chicago, Becker Friedman Institute for Economics Working Paper No. 2024-57, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4820361 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4820361

Amanda Agan

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey ( email )

311 Armitage Hall
N. 5th Street, room 313
Camden, NJ 08102
United States

Andrew Garin

Carnegie Mellon University ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States

Dmitri Koustas (Contact Author)

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Alexandre Mas

University of California, Berkeley ( email )

310 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Crystal Yang

Harvard Law School ( email )

1575 Massachusetts
Hauser 406
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
10
Abstract Views
60
PlumX Metrics