Prison-Based Education and Re-Entry into the Mainstream Labor Market

37 Pages Posted: 15 May 2006 Last revised: 7 Feb 2021

See all articles by John H. Tyler

John H. Tyler

Brown University - Taubman Center for Public Policy; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Jeffrey R. Kling

Government of the United States of America - Congressional Budget Office (CBO); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: March 2006

Abstract

We estimate the post-release economic effects of participation in prison-based General Educational Development (GED) programs using a panel of earnings records and a rich set of individual information from administrative data in the state of Florida. Fixed effects estimates of the impact of participating in the GED education program show post-release quarterly earnings gains of about 15 percent for program participants relative to observationally similar non-participants. We also show, however, that these earnings gains accrue only to racial/ethnic minority offenders and any GED-related earnings gains for this group seem to fade in the third year after release from prison. Estimates comparing offenders who obtained a GED to those who participated in GED-related prison education programs but left prison without a GED show no systematic evidence of an independent impact of the credential itself on post-release quarterly earnings.

Suggested Citation

Tyler, John H. and Kling, Jeffrey, Prison-Based Education and Re-Entry into the Mainstream Labor Market (March 2006). NBER Working Paper No. w12114, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=893769

John H. Tyler (Contact Author)

Brown University - Taubman Center for Public Policy ( email )

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Jeffrey Kling

Government of the United States of America - Congressional Budget Office (CBO) ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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