Friday, August 23, 2013

Employers That Check Criminal Backgrounds Hire More African Americans

From The Wall Street Journal, "Jason Riley: Jobless Blacks Should Cheer Background Checks: Research suggests that employers who use them are less likely to racially discriminate." by Jason L Riley:
But the whole premise of the EEOC's [Equal Employment Opportunity Commission] campaign against criminal-background checks may be off-base if the goal is to increase job opportunities for minorities, ex-offenders or anyone with a spotty work history.

On the contrary, an October 2006 study in the Journal of Law and Economics, "Perceived Criminality, Criminal Background Checks, and the Racial Hiring Practices of Employers," found that "employers that check criminal backgrounds are in general more likely to hire African Americans," according to Harry Holzer of Georgetown University and his two co-authors. "[T]he adverse consequence of employer-initiated background checks on the likelihood of hiring African Americans is more than offset by the positive effect of eliminating statistical discrimination." These researchers surmise that employers who can screen for prison records are less likely to rely on prejudice when hiring.

Blacks aren't the only beneficiaries. Analyzing "employer willingness to hire other stigmatized groups of workers (such as workers with gaps in their employment history)," they found the same pattern.

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