Economics at your fingertips  

Labor market returns to a prison GED

Rajeev Darolia, Peter Mueser and Jacob Cronin

Economics of Education Review, 2021, vol. 82, issue C

Abstract: Educational and skill-building programs are commonplace in prisons and have been the focus of recent prominent policy initiatives. These educational programs are expected to increase prisoners’ post-release employability, with the hope that these lead to both private and public benefits. One of the most popular programs prepares prisoners to pass the GED exam, which is an academic certification for those without a high-school diploma. We analyze the labor market returns to a GED earned in prison using new administrative data on all released prisoners in the state of Missouri over nearly 25 years, and a matched comparison group difference-in-differences design with individual fixed effects. We find that the GED can lead to higher short-term quarterly earnings and employment, with the largest benefits experienced soon after release. These effects are strongest for those who did not have strong work histories prior to entering prison and for those who had access to post-release support. We also find that the effect of the GED is of a similar magnitude for White and Black formerly incarcerated individuals.

Keywords: GED; Prison; Incarceration; Returns to education (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
Working Paper: Labor Market Returns to a Prison GED (2020) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2021.102093

Access Statistics for this article

Economics of Education Review is currently edited by E. Cohn

More articles in Economics of Education Review from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Catherine Liu ().

Page updated 2022-07-22
Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:82:y:2021:i:c:s0272775721000169