Study Finds Ban the Box Policies Increase Odds of Public Sector Employment for Ex-Offenders

A study released in January of 2017 entitled “Ban the Box, Convictions, and Public Sector Employment” has found that Ban the Box policies that remove criminal history questions from applications and delay such inquiries until later in the hiring process increased the odds of public sector employment for those job applicants with criminal records by close to 40 percent. This study may be downloaded here.

The study of Ban the Box (BTB) policies was written by Terry-Ann Craigie, Ph.D, Assistant Professor of Economics at Connecticut College. The study revealed that: In general, the study finds that public sector BTB policies increase the probability of public sector employment of convicted individuals by approximately 5 percentage points, which constitutes nearly 40% of the outcome mean.

The study aimed to identify the national impact of public sector Ban the Box policies on the public sector employment of convicted individuals by using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 cohort (NLSY97) that followed the lives of nearly 9,000 American youths born between 1980-84 who were ages 12 to 17 when first interviewed in 1997 and have been surveyed 16 times to date.

The study also examined the possibility of “statistical discrimination” resulting from employers who are unable to rely on conviction information due to Ban the Box policies using characteristics such as race, age, and gender to predict the conviction status of job applicants. Young minority males would be the most likely to be adversely affected when using such factors to determine the probability of conviction. FULL ARTICLE

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