Sonja B. Starr

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

an In The Media Reference

"Should ‘ban the box’ be banned?" - HR Morning. 6/10/2016.

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.


Sonja B. Starr

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