2004
Volume 95, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0025-9454
  • E-ISSN: 1876-2816

Abstract

Abstract

Prior research showed us that ex-convicts often experience difficulties obtaining legal employment. Yet, employment is especially salient for ex-convicts as employment is related to lower recidivism rates. Therefore, a better understanding of the employment opportunities of ex-convicts is important for society. The current study uses a field experiment to gain insight into the employment opportunities of this group. A total of 1174 application letters and cv’s were sent to potential employers. All potential employers received two applications: one mentioned a conviction and one did not mention a conviction. The two applicants only differed on their conviction, they had similar qualifications, had the same gender and ethnical background. The results showed that employers overall were consistent in their reaction towards individuals with identical qualifications. For women, a conviction showed to have significant influence on the employers’ reaction. In general, applicants with a non-western minority background received less positive reactions regardless the criminal record. These results seem to imply a multiple stigma for ex-convicts. Being a woman and having a non-wester minority background can result in diminished employment opportunities.

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2020-11-01
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): conviction; discrimination; employment opportunities; ethnicity; field experiment; gender

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