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The intergenerational effects of parental incarceration

Will Dobbie (), Hans Grönqvist (), Susan Niknami (), Mårten Palme () and Mikael Priks ()
Additional contact information
Will Dobbie: Harvard Kennedy School and NBER.
Hans Grönqvist: IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy, Postal: Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy, P O Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden, http://www.ifau.se
Susan Niknami: Stockholm University, http://www.su.se
Mikael Priks: Stockholm University, http://www.su.se

No 2019:24, Working Paper Series from IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy

Abstract: We estimate the causal effects of parental incarceration on children’s short- and long-run out-comes using administrative data from Sweden. Our empirical strategy exploits exogenous varia-tion in parental incarceration from the random assignment of criminal defendants to judges with different incarceration tendencies. We find that the incarceration of a parent in childhood leads to a significant increase in teen crime and significant decreases in educational attainment and adult employment. The effects are concentrated among children from the most disadvantaged families, where criminal convictions increase by 10 percentage points, high school graduation decreases by 25 percentage points, and employment at age 25 decreases by 29 percentage points. In contrast, there are no detectable effects among children from more advantaged families. These results suggest that the incarceration of parents with young children may significantly increase the intergenerational persistence of poverty and criminal behavior, even in affluent countries with extensive social safety nets.

Keywords: incarceration; causal effects; childrens outcomes (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 76 pages
Date: 2019-10-28
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-lab, nep-law and nep-ure
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Related works:
Working Paper: The Intergenerational Effects of Parental Incarceration (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: The Intergenerational Effects of Parental Incarceration (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: The Intergenerational Effects of Parental Incarceration (2018) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2019_024

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