Works in progress

The Effects of Job Loss on Crime: Evidence from Administrative Data

This paper investigates the effects of job loss on recidivism using a novel merge of employer-employee wage data to administrative records on crime. I first use firm-level employment shocks to study the reduced form impact of job loss on offending. I then use a kink in unemployment insurance benefits to distinguish economic incentives from other factors, such as incapacitation through time spent at work, as a mechanism. I find that property crimes and domestic violence rise sharply after a layoff and remain elevated for up to two years. Economic incentives are an important mechanism, consistent with Becker-Ehrlich models.

Does Banning the Box Help Ex-Offenders Get Jobs? Evaluating the Effects of a Prominent Example
Revised and expanded; Online appendix

This paper uses merged administrative employment and conviction data to evaluate laws that restrict employers' information about job seekers' criminal records. I first show that records are barriers to employment: earnings decline 30% after a first conviction due to both less work overall and shifts to lower paying industries. However, I find that a 2013 Seattle law barring employers from examining job applicants' criminal records until after an initial screening had no impact on ex-offenders' employment or wages regardless of race. The results are consistent with ex-offenders applying only to jobs where a clean record is not a relevant qualification.

Published work

The Rise and Fall of Female Labor Force Participation During World War II in the United States
The Journal of Economic History, Vol. 78, No. 3 (September 2018); Online appendix

I use new data on employment and job placements during WWII to characterize the wartime surge in female work and its subsequent impact on female employment in the United States. The geography of female wartime work was primarily driven by industrial mobilization, not drafted men’s withdrawal from local labor markets. After the war, returning veterans and sharp cutbacks in war-related industries displaced many new female entrants, despite interest in continued work. As a result, areas most exposed to wartime work show limited overall effects on female labor force participation in 1950 and only marginal increases in durables manufacturing employment.