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Starr's findings account for some of the 19% black-white gap in federal sentencing

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Mon, Jan 22, 2018, noon: Narayan Sastry

Sonja B. Starr

Starr and Agan find that 'ban the box' laws may increase employment discrimination

a PSC In The News reference

"Should ‘ban the box’ be banned?" - HR Morning. 06/10/2016.

Amanda Agan and Sonja Starr performed a field experiment-type study to look at the labor market impact of "ban-the-box" (BTB) laws, which restrict employers from asking about applicants’ criminal histories on job applications. They submitted thousands of fictitious job applications before and after BTB laws went into effect in New Jersey and New York City, randomly assigning race and criminal history to each “applicant.” They then tracked the number of callbacks received. When employers asked about criminal records on the job application, they called white applicants slightly more often than identical black applicants – but that small gap became more than four times larger after BTB went into effect.

Related paper


Sonja B. Starr

More Media Coverage:

Brookings Op Ed. "Ban the Box" does more harm than good . 5/31/2016.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Time to ban 'ban the box'. 6/1/2016.

Michigan Radio. Study: "Ban the Box" laws increase employer racial discrimination. 6/16/2016.

Mother Jones. "Ban the Box" Helps Ex-Cons Find Work, but May Hurt Prospects for Law-Abiding Blacks. 6/17/2016.

Weekly Standard. 'Ban the Box' Can Increase Racial Discrimination. 6/21/2016.

Business Insider. The push to remove questions about criminal history from job applications might be having the opposite effect than intended. 7/5/2016.

Campus Reform. "Ban the Box" good for criminals, bad for diversity, study shows. 7/5/2016.

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