Banning the Box: The Labor Market Consequences of Bans on Criminal Record Screening in Employment Applicationsi

Banning the Box [PDF]1.07 MB


Many localities have in recent years limited the use of questions about criminal history in hiring, or "banned the box." We show that these bans increased employment of residents in high-crime neighborhoods by up to 4%. This effect can be seen both across and within census tracts, in employment levels as well as in commuting patterns. The increases are particularly large in the public sector and in lower-wage jobs. We also establish that employers respond to Ban the Box measures by raising experience requirements. On net, black men benefit from the changes.

Last updated on 11/04/2016