Labor Market Penalty of Incarceration in the United States, 1860-2020 - Jing Wu
The US has both the highest incarceration rate and the largest prison population worldwide. An active social sciences literature seeks to understand the social and economic impacts of this policy in the US, including the labor market effects of incarceration, with mixed conclusions. In this project, we document the differential labor market outcomes of the incarcerated population over a 170-year period from the birth of the modern US prison system through its dramatic increase in the 1980s and 1990s. We consistently measure the incarceration penalty, defined as the difference in labor market outcomes like occupation, earnings, employment, and labor force participation between incarcerated individuals and the non-incarcerated population across this time period.