Goldman School of Public Policy - University of California, Berkeley

Steven Raphael

Professor of Public Policy

Areas of Expertise

  • Labor and Employment
  • Race & Ethnicity
  • Criminal Justice
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Labor Economics
  • Racial Inequality
  • Urban Economics

Biography

Steve Raphael received his Ph.D. in economics from UC Berkeley in 1996. His primary fields of concentration are labor and urban economics. Raphael has authored several research projects investigating the relationship between racial segregation in housing markets and the relative employment prospects of African-Americans. Raphael has also written theoretical and empirical papers on the economics of discrimination, the role of access to transportation in determining employment outcomes, the relationship between unemployment and crime, the role of peer influences on youth behavior, the effect of trade unions on wage structures, and homelessness.

Selected Publications

  • Did the 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act Reduce the State’s Unauthorized Immigrant Population?

    Bohn Sarah; Lofstrom, Magnus and Steven Raphael, forthcoming "The Effects of State-Level Legislation Targeted Towards Limiting the Employment of Undocumented Immigrants on the Internal Composition of State Populations: The Case of Arizona," Review of Economics and Statistics.

    We test for an effect of Arizona’s 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act (LAWA) on the proportion of the state population characterized as non-citizen Hispanic. We use the synthetic control method to select a group of states against which the population trends of Arizona can be compared. We document a notable and statistically significant reduction in the proportion of the Arizona population that is Hispanic noncitizen. The decline observed for Arizona matches the timing of LAWA’s implementation, deviates from the time series for the chosen synthetic control group, and stands out relative to the distribution of placebo estimates for the remainder of states in the nation. Furthermore, we do not observe similar declines for Hispanic naturalized citizens, a group not targeted by the legislation. Our results on LAWA’s impact on the housing market provide further support for our findings.

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  • International Migration, Sex Ratios, and the Socioeconomic Outcomes of Non-migrant Mexican Women

    Raphael, Steven forthcoming  "International Migration, Sex Ratios, and the Socioeconomic Outcomes of Non-Migrant Mexican Women," Demography.

    This paper assesses whether international migration from Mexico impacts the marital, fertility, schooling, and employment outcomes of the Mexican women who remain behind by exploiting variation over time as well as across Mexican states in the demographic imbalance between men and women. I construct a gauge of the relative supply of men for women of different age groups based on state-level male and female population counts and the empirically-observed propensity of men of specific ages to marry women of specific ages. Using Mexican census data from 1960 through 2000, I estimate a series of models where the dependent variable is the inter-census change in an average outcome for Mexican women measured by state and for specific age groups and the key explanatory variable is the change in the relative supply of men to women in that state/age group. I find that the declining relative supply of males positively and significantly impacts the proportion of women who have never been married as well as the proportion of women who have never had a child. In addition, states experiencing the largest declines in the relative supply of men also experience relatively large increases in female educational attainment and female employment rates. However, I find little evidence that women who do marry match to men that are younger or less educated than themselves.

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  • The Evolution of Gender Employment Differentials within Racial Groups in the United States

    Hamilton, Candace; Meyer, Chris and Steven Raphael, forthcoming "The Evolution of Gender Employment Differentials within Racial Groups in the United States," Journal of Legal Studies.

    This paper analyzes changes in gender employment differentials for whites and blacks in the United States from 1950 to 2008. We begin by documenting the evolution of the gender employment race gap which narrows considerably within both racial groups and turns slightly negative for blacks. We document the changing employment levels that drive these patterns as well as compositional shifts in each gender-race population. Among whites, nearly all of the narrowing is attributable to increasing employment among women. For blacks, a large component of the narrowing is explained by declining employment among men. Black employment rates decline precipitously for the least educated and post-1980 are driven down further by increased institutionalization and declining marriage. In an analysis of state-level inter-decade changes in female outcomes, we find that a worsening of black male employment prospects is associated with an increase in female education and a decline in marriage and fertility.

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  • What Do Panel Studies Tell Us About a Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment? A Critique of the Lite

    Chalfin, Aaron; Haviland, Amelia; and Steven Raphael (2012), "What Do Panel Studies Tell Us About a Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment? A Critique of the Literature," Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 25: 1-39.

    Objectives We provide a critical review of empirical research on the deterrent effect of capital punishment that makes use of state and, in some instances, county-level, panel data. Methods We present the underlying behavioral model that presumably informs the specification of panel data regressions, outline the typical model specification employed, discuss current norms regarding ‘‘best-practice’’ in the analysis of panel data, and engage in a critical review.

    Results The connection between the theoretical reasoning underlying general deterrence and the regression models typically specified in this literature is tenuous. Many of the papers purporting to find strong effects of the death penalty on state-level murder rates suffer from basic methodological problems: weak instruments, questionable exclusion restrictions, failure to control for obvious factors, and incorrect calculation of standard errors which in turn has led to faulty statistical inference. The lack of variation in the key underlying explanatory variables and the heavy influence exerted by a few observations in state panel data regressions is a fundamental problem for all panel data studies of this question, leading to overwhelming model uncertainty.

    Conclusions We find the recent panel literature on whether there is a deterrent effect of the death penalty to be inconclusive as a whole, and in many cases uninformative. Moreover, we do not see additional methodological tools that are likely to overcome the multiple challenges that face researchers in this domain, including the weak informativeness of the data, a lack of theory on the mechanisms involved, and the likely presence of unobserved confounders.

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  • Assessing the Contribution of the Deinstitutionalization of the Mentally Ill to Growth in the U.S.

    Raphael, Steven and Michael Stoll, forthcoming "Assessing the Contribution of the Deinstitutionalization of the Mentally Ill to Growth in the U.S. Incarceration Rate," Journal of Legal Studies.

    We assess the degree to which the mentally ill who would have been in mental hospitals in years past have been trans‐institutionalized into prisons and jails. We also assess the contribution of deinstitutionalization to growth in the U.S. prison population. We find no evidence of trans‐institutionalization for any demographic groups for the period between 1950 and 1980. However, for the twenty‐year period from 1980 to 2000, we find significant trans‐institutionalization rates for all men and women, with a relatively large trans‐institutionalization rate for men in comparison to women, and the largest trans‐institutionalization rate observed for white men. Our estimates suggest that between 4 and 7 percent of incarceration growth between 1980 and 2000 is attributable to deinstitutionalization. While this is a relatively small contribution to prison growth overall, the results do suggest that a sizable portion of the mentally ill behind bars would not have been incarcerated in years past.

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  • Work and Crime

    Chalfin, Aaron and Steven Raphael (2011), "Work and Crime," in Michael Tonry (ed.), The Oxford Handook of Crime and Criminal Justice, Oxford University Press, pp. 444-476.

    This article reviews the connections between work and crime. Section I discusses a simple microeconomic model of criminal participation, which models criminal participation in terms of the traditional time-use allocation model that forms the bedrock of the economic analysis of labor supply. To assess the extent to which the model is supported by existing empirical research, Section II reviews three bodies of literature: research by economists on the relationship between incentives and participation in crime measured at the individual level, experimental evaluations of labor market interventions targeted at former prison inmates, and research analyzing the aggregate relationship between crime and measures of macroeconomic conditions. Section III analyzes the effects of past criminal activity on future employment prospects operating through the effects of having served time, while Section IV offers some conclusions.

  • How Much Crime Reduction Does the Marginal Prisoner Buy

    Johnson, Rucker and Steven Raphael (2012) "How Much Crime Reduction Does the Marginal Prisoner Buy" Journal of Law and Economics, 55(2) 275-310.

    We present new evidence on the effect of aggregate changes in incarceration on changes in crime that accounts for the potential simultaneous relationship between incarceration and crime. Our principal innovation is that we develop an instrument for future changes in incarceration rates based on the theoretically predicted dynamic adjustment path of the aggregate incarceration rate in response to a shock (from whatever source) to prison entrance or exit transition probabilities. Given that incarceration rates adjust to permanent changes in behavior with a dynamic lag (given that only a fraction of offenders are apprehended in any one period), one can identify variation in incarceration that is not contaminated by contemporary changes in criminal behavior. We isolate this variation and use it to tease out the causal effect of incarceration on crime. Using state level data for the United States covering the period from 1978 to 2004, we find crimeprison elasticities that are considerably larger than those implied by OLS estimates. For the entire time period, we find average crime-prison effects with implied elasticities of between -0.06 and -0.11 for violent crime and between -0.15 and -0.21 for property crime. We also present results for two sub-periods of our panel: 1978 to 1990 and 1991 to 2004. Our IV estimates for the earlier time period suggest much larger crime-prison effects, with elasticity estimates consistent with those presented in Levitt (1996) who analyzes a similar time period yet with an entirely different identification strategy. For the latter time period, however, the effects of changes in prison on crime are much smaller. Our results indicate that recent increases in incarceration have generated much less bang-per-buck in terms of crime reduction.

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  • City and Suburban Crime Trends in Metropolitan America

    Kneebone, Elizabeth and Steven Raphael (2011), City and Suburban Crime Trends in Metropolitan America, with Elizabeth Kneebone, The Brooking Institution, Washington D.C.

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  • Incarceration and Prisoner Reentry in the U.S.

    Raphael, Steven (2011) "Incarceration and Prisoner Reentry in the U.S." Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, 635: 192-215.

    This article addresses the reentry challenges faced by low-skilled men released from U.S. prisons. The author empirically characterizes the increases in incarceration occurring since 1970 and assesses the degree to which these changes result from changes in policy as opposed to changes in criminal behavior. The author discusses what is known about the children of inmates and the likelihood that a child in the United States has an incarcerated parent. The article then addresses the employment barriers that former prison inmates face, with a particular emphasis on how employers view criminal records in screening job applicants. Finally, the author discusses a number of alternative models for aiding the reentry of former inmates. Transitional cash assistance, the use of reentry plans, traditional workforce development efforts, and transitional jobs for former inmates all are among the tools used across the United States. The author reviews the existing evaluation literature on the effectiveness of these programmatic interventions.

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  • Improving Employment Prospects for Former Prison Inmates: Challenges and Policy

    Raphael, Steven (2011), "Improving Employment Prospects for Former Prison Inmates: Challenges and Policy," in Cook, Phillip J.; Ludwig, Jens and Justin McCrary (eds.) Controlling Crime: Strategies and Tradeoffs, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Il: pp 521-572.

    This paper analyzes the employment prospects of former prison inmates and reviews recent evaluations of reentry programs that either aim to improve employment among the formerly incarcerated or aim to reduce recidivism through treatment interventions centered on employment. I present an empirical portrait of the U.S. prison population and prison releases using nationally representative survey data. I characterize the personal traits of state and federal prison inmates, including their level of educational attainment and age as well as the health and mental health issues that occur with high frequency among this population. I then turn to the demand side of this particular segment of the U.S. labor market. Using a 2003 survey of California establishments, I characterize employers’ preferences with regards to hiring convicted felons into non-managerial, non-professional jobs, the degree to which employers check criminal history records, and the incidence of legal prohibitions against hiring convicted felons. I conduct multivariate analyses of the impact of checking criminal backgrounds on the likelihood of hiring workers of difference race/gender combinations, using legal prohibition against hiring felons as an instrument for checking. Finally, I review the research evidence evaluating programmatic efforts to improve employment prospects and reduce recidivism among former prison inmates.

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  • Neighborhoods, Social Interactions, and Crime

    Raphael, Steven and Michael Stoll (2011), "Neighborhoods, Social Interactions, and Crime," in (Newburger, Harriet B.; Birch, L. Eugenie and Susan M. Wachter (eds.) Neighborhood and Life Chances, University of Pennsylvania Press: Philadelphia, PA pp. 73-88.

  • Lessons from the 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act

    Bohn, Sarah; Lofstrom, Magnus and Steven Raphael (2011), Lessons from the 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act, Public Policy Institute of California: San Francisco, CA.

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  • Incarceration and Incapacitation: Evidence from the 2006 Italian Collective Pardon

    Buonanno, Paolo and Steven Raphael, forthcoming, "Incarceration and Incapacitation: Evidence from the 2006 Italian Collective Pardon," American Economic Review.

    In August 2006, the Italian government released one-third of the nation’s prison inmates via a national collective pardon. We test for a discontinuous break in national crime rates corresponding to the mass release. We also test for the effect of the return of the incarceration rate to its predicted steady state level on national crime rates. Finally, we exploit regional variation in prison releases based on the province of residence of pardoned inmates. All three sources of variation yield substantial incapacitation effect estimates and suggest that the crime preventing effects of incarceration diminish with increases in the incarceration rate.

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  • The Mobility Bank: Increasing Residential Mobility to Boost Economic Mobility

    Ludwig, Jens and Steven Raphael (2010), The Mobility Bank: Increasing Residential Mobility to Boost Economic Mobility, A Hamilton Project Paper, The Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C.

    This paper proposes the creation of a “mobility bank” at a government cost of less than $1 billion per year to help finance the residential moves of U.S. workers relocating either to take offered jobs or to search for work, and to help them learn more about the employment options available in other parts of the country. Whereas those with college degrees and savings are much more likely to move in response to job loss and to improve their job market outcomes, those with less skills and no savings may have difficulty financing such transitions. The government should target mobility bank loans toward displaced, unemployed, and underemployed people in depressed areas of the country and should help to insure people against job-outcome uncertainty by making repayment terms contingent on the borrower’s post-move employment and income. This proposal extends government support for work-related moves that already are included in the U.S. tax code but that primarily benefit higher-income households. Calculations suggest that the benefits compare favorably with the costs from alternative federal efforts. Perhaps more importantly, our proposal helps address a persistent market failure that limits the ability of low-income families to borrow against future earnings to “invest” in job-promoting residential moves.

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  • Job Sprawl and the Suburbanization of Poverty

    Raphael, Steven and Michael Stoll (2010), Job Sprawl and the Suburbanization of Poverty, The Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C.

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  • The Causes and Labor Market Consequences of the Steep Increase in U.S. Incarceration Rates

    Raphael, Steven (2010) "The Causes and Labor Market Consequences of the Steep Increase in U.S. Incarceration Rates," in Brown, Clair; Eichengreen, Barry and Michael Reich (eds) Labor in the Era of Globalization, Cambridge University Press.375-413.

  • Why Are So Many Americans in Prison?

    Raphael, Steven and Michael Stoll (2009), "Why Are So Many Americans in Prison?" in Raphael, Steven and Michael Stoll (eds.) Do Prisons Make Us Safer? The Benefits and Costs of the Prison Boom, Russell Sage Foundation, New York.

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  • Immigration and Poverty in the United States

    Raphael, Steven and Eugene Smolensky (2009), "Immigration and Poverty in the United States," in Cancian, Maria and Sheldon Danziger (eds), Changing Poverty, Changing Policies, Russell Sage Foundation, NY, pp122-150.

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  • The State Children’s Health Insurance Program and Job Mobility: Identifying Job-Lock Among Working P

    Bansak, Cynthia and Steven Raphael (2009), "The State Children's Health Insurance Program and Job Mobility: Identifying Job-Lock Among Working Parents in Near Poor Households," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 61(4): 564-579.

    To assess whether near-poor parents’ job mobility is reduced due to the non-portability of employer-provided health insurance—an effect termed job lock—the authors examine data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation for 1996 and 2001, years bracketing the introduction of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Among the working fathers whose children met the SCHIP eligibility criteria, those whose wives did not have their own employer-provided insurance were 5–6% more likely to separate from their current employer in the year of the later survey than in the year of the earlier survey, whereas those whose wives were insured exhibited no comparable change in mobility. These results confirm the presence of job lock: for men whose wives were uninsured, but not for those whose wives were insured, the authors argue, the SCHIP program presented a new opportunity to switch jobs without losing health insurance.

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  • The Effect of Male Incarceration Dynamics on AIDS Infection Rates Among African-American Women and M

    Johnson, Rucker and Steven Raphael (2009) "The Effect of Male Incarceration Dynamics on AIDS Infection Rates Among African-American Women and Men," Journal of Law and Economics, 52(2):251-293.

    This paper investigates the connection between incarceration dynamics and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) infection rates, with particular emphasis on the black-white AIDS rate disparity. Using case-level U.S. data spanning 1982–96, we model the dynamic relationship between AIDS infection rates and the proportion of men in the age-, state-, and race-matched cohort that are incarcerated. We find strong effects of male incarceration rates on male and female AIDS rates. The dynamic structure of this relationship parallels the incubation time between human immunodeficiency virus infection and the onset of full-blown AIDS. These results persist after controlling for year fixed effects; a fully interacted set of age, race, and state fixed effects; crack cocaine prevalence; and flow rates in and out of prison. The results reveal that higher incarceration rates among black males over this period explain the lion’s share of the racial disparity in AIDS infection among women.

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  • Neighborhoods, Economic Self-Sufficiency, and the MTO Program

    Quigley, John and Steven Raphael (2008) "Neighborhoods, Economic Self-Sufficiency, and the MTO Program" in Burtless, Gary and Janet Rothenberg Pack (eds), The Brookings Wharton Papers on Urban Economic Affairs The Brookings Institution: Washington.

  • Gender Differences in the Labor Market Impact of IRCA

    Amuedo-Dorante, Catalina; Bansak, Cynthia and Steven Raphael (2007) "Gender Differences in the Labor Market Impact of IRCA," American Economic Review, 412-416.

  • Early Incarceration Spells and the Transition to Adulthood

    Raphael, Steven (2007) "Early Incarceration Spells and the Transition to Adulthood," in Danziger, Sheldon and Cecilia Elena Rouse (eds) The Price of Independence: The Economics of Early Adulthood, Russell Sage Foundation: New York pp. 278-306.

    This paper assesses the effects of having served time on conventional measures of the transition to adulthood among young men. Using data from the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79) covering the period 1979 through 1996, I test for an empirical relationship between prior jail or prison time (measured as having been interviewed for the survey while incarcerated) and four conventional markers of adult transition: current residence with one’s parents, never having been married, the proportion of the survey year employed, and hourly earnings. A simple comparison of the four markers of adulthood over time reveal large difference between male youth that have ever served time and youth who have not, with those who have served time performing poorly on all measures. Moreover, comparisons of pre-post incarceration changes in outcomes for those who are incarcerated relative to similar life-course changes for youth who do not experience incarceration reveal a relative erosion of outcomes that correlates with the timing of the first incarceration spell. I find consistent and strong evidence that having served time in the past reduces annual weeks worked and increases the likelihood of never having been married among young men. The evidence of an effect on the likelihood of living with one’s parents and hourly earnings is less consistent and generally weaker. While I do not find consistent effects of incarceration for all four outcomes analyzed, the analysis does reveal the relatively poor performance of those who serve time on all dimensions. Thus, those youth involved with the criminal justice system during adolescence and early adulthood are clearly a vulnerable population in this regard.

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  • The Effect of an Applicant’s Criminal History on Employer Hiring Decisions and Screening Practices

    Holzer, Harry; Raphael, Steven and Michael Stoll (2007) "The Effect of an Applicant's Criminal History on Employer Hiring Decisions and Screening Practices: Evidene from Los Angeles," in Bushway, Shawn; Stoll, Michael and David Weiman (ed.) Barriers to Reentry? The Labor Market for Released Prisoners in Post-Industrial America, Russell Sage Foundation: New York.

    In this paper, we analyze data from a new survey of employers in the Los Angeles metropolitan area that includes detailed information regarding employer sentiments about ex-offenders, actual hiring behavior with respect to ex-offenders, and the methods used to screen the criminal histories of applicants. A more nuanced portrait of how criminal histories affect employer hiring decisions emerges from these data. Our analysis reveals that, while most employers would probably not hire an ex-offender, a sizable number would consider mitigating factors, such as the type of offense committed and when it occurred. In addition, we find that the use of criminal history checks has increased considerably over the past decade – especially after September 11, 2001 – and that many employers use private internet services to perform such checks. About half of these employers do so because they believe they are legally required to. We also investigate the firm and job characteristics that correlate with the use of criminal background checks and the likelihood of hiring ex-offenders. Our results suggest that providing accurate information to employers about offenders’ histories and recent activities could potentially raise the demand for their labor, while attempts to review the legal barriers states have imposed on the hiring of offenders might help as well.

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  • The Impact of Local Labor Market Conditions on the Likelihood That Parolees are Returned to Custody

    Raphael, Steven and David Weiman (2007) "The Impact of Local Labor Market Conditions on the Likelihood That Parolees are Returned to Custody," in Bushway, Shawn; Stoll, Michael and David Weiman (ed.) Barriers to Reentry? The Labor Market for Released Prisoners in Post-Industrial America, Russell Sage Foundation: New York.

    In this paper, we assess whether the availability of employment opportunities impacts the likelihood that a paroled ex-offenders is returned to custody. Using administrative data from the California State Department of Corrections, we assess whether the likelihood that a paroled offender is returned to prison depends on the local labor market conditions in the county where the offender is released at the time of release. We find moderate effects of county unemployment rates at the time of release on the likelihood that a paroled offender is returned to custody. When we stratify by offender characteristics, the impact of employment conditions on the likelihood of re-incarceration is larger for offenders that are relatively less likely to violate the imposed parole terms. Combined with findings from research on the impact of local unemployment rates on the employment probabilities of low-skilled workers, our results imply that the impact of being employed on the probability of being returned to custody is small for the average parolee, on the order of one to two percentage points. However, our results also indicate that the employment effects for parolees that are at relatively low-risk of violating parole are fairly large. For the lowest-risk parolees, our results suggest that having a job reduces the likelihood of being returned to custody on a parole violation by 6 to 12 percentage points. This amounts to 13 to 26 percent of the overall return rate for low-risk parolees.

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  • Boosting the Earnings and Employment of Low-Skilled Workers in the United States: Making Work Pay an

    Raphael, Steven (2007) "Boosting the Earnings and Employment of Low-Skilled Workers in the United States: Making Work Pay and Reducing Barriers to Employment and Social Mobility" in Bartik, Timothy J. and Susan M Houseman (eds.) A Future of Good Jobs? America's Challenge in the Global Economy, W. E. Upjohn Institute, Kalamazoo, MI, pp 245-305.

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  • The Deterrence Effects of California’s Proposition 8: Weighing the Evidence

    Raphael, Steven (2006), "The Deterrence Effects of California's Proposition 8: Weighing the Evidence," Criminology and Public Policy 5(3):471-478.

  • Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Massachusetts Workforce Development Program Using No-Shows as a

    Raphael, Steven and Michael Stoll (2006), "Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Massachusetts Workforce Development Program Using No-Shows as a Non-Experimental Control Group," Evaluation Review, 30: 379-429 (2006).

    This article examines the effect of the Massachusetts workforce development system on the earnings of disadvantaged adults using nonexperimental data from the late 1990s. The authors construct a comparison sample for program participants using individuals who apply for and are offered services yet do not participate in a training program. They present a series of difference-in-difference estimates that make several alternative efforts to correct for selectivity bias, including econometric models that regression adjust for observable characteristics and fixed-effect models that adjust for time-invariant person effects. They also employ probabilistic matching techniques to more finely align the treatment and comparison samples. On average, program participants experienced 20% increases in annual earnings 1 year postintervention and 25% increases after 2 years. The authors uncover considerable heterogeneity in these effects, suggesting that the most difficult to serve and the most job ready benefit the least.

  • Should Criminal History Records be Universally Available?

    Raphael, Steven (2006), "Should Criminal History Records be Universally Available?" Criminology and Public Policy, 5(3): 512-522.

  • How Do Crime and Incarceration Affect the Employment Prospects of Less Educated Black Men?

    Holzer, Harry; Raphael, Steven and Michael Stoll (2006), "How Do Crime and Incarceration Affect the Employment Prospects of Less Educated Black Men?" in Ronald Mincy (ed.) Black Males Left Behind, The Urban Institute: Washington, D.C. (2006).

  • Perceived Criminality, Criminal Background Checks and the Racial Hiring Practices of Employers

    Holzer, Harry; Raphael, Steven and Michael Stoll (2006), "Perceived Criminality, Criminal Background Checks and the Racial Hiring Practices of Employers," Journal of Law and Economics, 49(2): 451-480.

    In this paper, we analyze the effect of employer-initiated criminal background checks on the likelihood that employers hire African Americans. We find that employers who check criminal backgrounds are more likely to hire African American workers, especially men. This effect is stronger among those employers who report an aversion to hiring those with criminal records than among those who do not. We also find similar effects of employer aversion to ex-offenders and their tendency to check backgrounds on their willingness to hire other stigmatized workers, such as those with gaps in their employment history. These results suggest that, in the absence of criminal background checks, some employers discriminate statistically against black men and/or those with weak employment records. Such discrimination appears to contribute substantially to observed employment and earnings gaps between white and black young men.

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  • The Socioeconomic Status of Black Males: The Increasing Importance of Incarceration

    Raphael, Steven (2006), "The Socioeconomic Status of Black Males: The Increasing Importance of Incarceration," in Auerbach, Alan; Card, David, and John Quigley (eds.), Poverty, the Distribution of Income, and Public Policy, Russell Sage Foundation: New York.

    This paper assesses the increasing importance of incarceration in determining the average socioeconomic status of black males in the United States. I document national trends in the proportion of black males that are either currently institutionalized or who have served previous prison time. The paper also documents the extent to which serving time interrupts the potential early work careers of young offenders and reviews recent research on employer sentiment regarding ex-offenders and the likely stigma effects of prior incarceration. Finally, I assess whether increasing incarceration rates provide a possible explanation for the drastic declines in employment rates observed among noninstitutionalized black males. Using data from the U.S. Census, I test for a correlation between the proportion of non-institutionalized men in a given age-race-education group that are employed and the proportion of all men in this grouping that are institutionalized. The proportion institutionalized has a strong negative effect on the proportion of the noninstitutionalized that are employed. The relationship is strong enough to explain onethird to one-half of the relative decline in black male employment rates.

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  • Employers in the Boom: How Did the Hiring of Less-Skilled Workers Change During the 1990s?

    Holzer, Harry; Raphael, Steven and Michael Stoll (2006), "Employers in the Boom: How Did the Hiring of Less-Skilled Workers Change During the 1990s?" Review of Economics and Statistics, 88(2): 283-299 (2006).

    In this paper, we present evidence on how a wide range of employer attitudes and hiring behaviors with respect to unskilled workers changed over the decade of the 1990s. We use a unique source of data: a set of cross-sectional employer surveys administered over the period 1992-2001. We also try to disentangle the effects of labor market conditions from broader secular trends. The results indicate that employers became more willing to hire a range of disadvantaged workers during the boom—including minorities, workers with certain stigmas (such as welfare recipients), and those without recent experience or high school diplomas. The wages paid to newly hired unskilled workers also increased. On the other hand, employer demand for specific skill certification rose over time, as did their use of certain screens. The results suggest that the tight labor markets of the late 1990s, in conjunction with other secular changes, raised hiring costs and induced employers to shift towards screens that seemed relatively more costeffective.

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  • The Effect of State Policy Design Features on Take Up and Crowd Out Rates for the State Children’s H

    Bansak, Cynthia and Steven Raphael (2006), "The Effect of State Policy Design Features on Take Up and Crowd Out Rates for the State Children's Health Insurance Program," Journal of Policy Analysis & Management, 26(1): 149-175.

    We evaluate the effects of state policy design features on SCHIP take-up rates and on the degree to which SCHIP benefits crowd out private benefits. The results indicate overall program take-up rates of approximately 10 percent. However, there is considerable heterogeneity across states, suggesting a potential role of inter-state variation in policy design. We find that several design mechanisms have significant and substantial positive effects on take-up. For example, eliminating asset tests, offering continuous coverage, simplifying the application and renewal processes, and extending benefits to parents all have sizable and positive effects on take-up rates. Mandatory waiting periods, on the other hand, consistently reduce take-up rates. In all, inter-state differences in outreach and anti-crowd-out efforts explain roughly one-quarter of the cross-state variation in take-up rates. Concerning the crowding out of private health insurance benefits, we find that between one-quarter and one-third of the increase in public health insurance coverage for SCHIP-eligible children is offset by a decline in private health coverage. We find little evidence that the policy-induced variation in take-up is associated with a significant degree of crowd out, and no evidence that the negative effect on private coverage caused by state policy choices is any greater than the overall crowding-out effect. This suggests that states are not augmenting take-up rates by enrolling children that are relatively more likely to have private health insurance benefits.

  • Have Employment Relationships in the United States Become Less Stable?

    Bansak, Cynthia and Steven Raphael (2006) "Have Employment Relationships in the United States Become Less Stable?" International Advances in Economic Research, 12(3): 342-357.

    There has been considerable debate as to whether job stability has declined in the United States. This paper uses data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) to examine the incidence of labor market turnover between 1986 and 1993. Specifically, we calculate one- and two-year separation rates and then analyze turnover by the source of separation. We find that the incidence of job separations did not increase over the period under investigation, but appears to have declined somewhat. The only deviation from this overall trend occurs for workers between 56 and 65 years of age who experienced increased separation rates. When analyzing separations by reason, we find a decrease in voluntary inter-firm mobility from 1986 to 1992 with a slight upturn in 1993 and no clear pattern for involuntary separations. Therefore, we do not find conclusive evidence that employment relationships have become more unstable in the recent past.

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  • Urban Crime in the United States

    Raphael, Steven and Melissa Sills (2005), "Urban Crime in the United States," in Richard Arnott and Dan McMillen (eds.) A Companion to Urban Economics, Blackwell Publishing.

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  • Regulation and the High Cost of Housing in California

    Quigley, John and Steven Raphael (2005), "Regulation and the High Cost of Housing in California," American Economic Review, 95(2): 323-328.

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  • Identifying the Effect of Unemployment on Crime

    Raphael, Steven and Rudolf Winter-Ebmer (2005) "Identifying the Effect of Unemployment on Crime," (reprinted from Journal of Law and Economics, 44(1): 259-284 (2001)) Ehrlich, Isaac, and Zhiqiang Liu (eds.), The Economics of Crime, Edward Elgar Publishing, UK.

    In this paper, we analyze the relationship between unemployment and crime. Using U.S. state data, we estimate the effect of unemployment on the rates of seven felony offenses. We control extensively for state‐level demographic and economic factors and estimate specifications that include state‐specific time trends, state effects, and year effects. In addition, we use prime defense contracts and a state‐specific measure of exposure to oil shocks as instruments for unemployment rates. We find significantly positive effects of unemployment on property crime rates that are stable across model specifications. Our estimates suggest that a substantial portion of the decline in property crime rates during the 1990s is attributable to the decline in the unemployment rate. The evidence for violent crime is considerably weaker. However, a closer analysis of the violent crime of rape yields some evidence that the employment prospects of males are weakly related to state rape rates.

  • The Anatomy of Rent Burdens: Immigration, Growth, and Rental Housing

    Greulick, Erica, Quigley, John and Steven Raphael (2004), "The Anatomy of Rent Burdens: Immigration, Growth, and Rental Housing," in William G. Gale and Janet Rothenberg Pack (eds), The Brookings €˜Wharton Papers on Urban Economic Affairs, Volume 5 The Brookings Institution: Washington.

  • Back Job Applicants and the Hiring Officer’s Race

    Holzer, Harry; Raphael, Steven and Michael Stoll (2004), "Back Job Applicants and the Hiring Officer'€™s Race," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 57(2): 267-287.

    Recent studies have consistently found that in the United States, black job applicants are hired at a greater rate by establishments with black hiring agents than by those with white hiring agents. The results of this examination of data from the 1992–94 Multi-City Employer Survey suggest two proximate reasons for this pattern: black hiring agents receive applications from blacks at greater rates than do white hiring agents, and they hire a greater proportion of blacks who apply. The authors suggest that moving more blacks into positions with hiring authority within firms might help to alleviate the persistent unemployment difficulties of African Americans.

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  • The Effect of an Increase in Worker’s Compensation Benefits on the Duration and Frequency of Benefit

    Neuhauser, Frank and Steven Raphael (2004), "The Effect of an Increase in Worker's Compensation Benefits on the Duration and Frequency of Benefit Receipt," Review of Economics and Statistics, 86(1): 288-302.

    We present quasi-experimental estimates of the effect of changes in workers' compensation benefits on benefit duration and application frequency, using administrative data for California. Our design exploits two increases in temporary disability benefits occurring during the mid-1990s. We find consistent increases in the duration among injured workers whose benefits were affected by the schedule changes, and some evidence indicating that the likelihood of filing for benefits conditional on being injured is responsive to benefit levels. Finally, we evaluate whether the frequency effect on applying for indemnity benefits introduces a sample selection bias into standard quasi-experimental estimates of duration benefit elasticities.

  • Local Land Use Controls and Demographic Outcomes in a Booming Economy

    Quigley, John; Raphael, Steven and Larry Rosenthal (2004), "“Local Land Use Controls and Demographic Outcomes in a Booming Economy," Urban Studies, 41(2): 389-421.

    The article analyses the link between autarchic land-use policies adopted by local governments in California and the substantial redistribution of its population during the decade of the 1990s. Changes in population growth by racial and ethnic group in California cities are related to measures of the extent to which locally adopted policy favours expansion of the single-family housing stock. Controlling for the initial conditions of housing and labour markets by relying upon census measures for 1990, the paper accounts for the potential endogeneity of contemporaneous land-use policies by relying upon exogenous measures of the ‘exclusivity’ and ‘pro-growth’ propensities of the local public sector recorded by a state-wide survey in the early 1990s.

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  • The Effect of Prison Releases on Regional Crime Rates

    Raphael, Steven and Michael Stoll (2004), "The Effect of Prison Releases on Regional Crime Rates," with Michael Stoll, in William G. Gale and Janet Rothenberg Pack (eds), The Brookings Wharton Papers on Urban Economic Affairs, Volume 5, The Brookings Institution: Washington.

  • Will Employers Hire Ex-Offenders? Employer Preferences, Background Checks, and Their Determinants

    Holzer, Harry; Raphael, Steven and Michael Stoll (2004), "Will Employers Hire Ex-Offenders? Employer Preferences, Background Checks, and Their Determinants," in Mary Patillo-McCoy, David Weiman, and Bruce Western (eds.), The Impact of Incarceration on Families and Communities, Russell Sage Foundation: New York, NY.

    In this paper, we analyze employer demand for ex-offenders. We use data from a recent survey of employers to analyze not only employer preferences for offenders but also the extent to which they check criminal backgrounds in light of the very imperfect information about the job applicants whom they consider. We investigate the firm and job characteristics that correlate with these measures of employer demand. Using data from surveys administered at different points in time, we also consider the extent to which such demand changed during the 1990s in response to tighter labor market conditions. Finally, we consider the quantities of demand for ex-offenders relative to their supply, based on a variety of estimates of total stocks and annual flows of offenders back to the civilian population.

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  • Public Transit and the Spatial Distribution of Minority Employment: Evidence from a Natural Experime

    Holzer, Harry; Quigley, John and Steven Raphael (2003), "Public Transit and the Spatial Distribution of Minority Employment: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Journal of Policy Analysis & Management, 22(3): 415-442.

    A recent expansion of the San Francisco Bay Area’s heavy rail system represents an exogenous change in the accessibility of inner-city minority communities to a concentrated suburban employment center. We evaluate this natural experiment by conducting a two-wave longitudinal survey of firms, with the first wave of interviews conducted immediately before the opening of service, and the second wave approximately a year later. Within-firm changes in the propensity to hire minority workers for firms near the station were compared with those located farther away. Also estimated was the effect of employer distance to the new stations on changes in propensity to hire minorities. Results indicate a sizable increase in the hiring of Latinos near the new stations, but little evidence of an effect on black hiring rates.

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  • Life Terms or Death Sentences: The Uneasy Relationship Between Judicial Elections and Capital Punish

    Brooks, Richard and Steven Raphael (2003) "Life Terms or Death Sentences: The Uneasy Relationship Between Judicial Elections and Capital Punishment," Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 92(3-4): 609-640.

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  • Prison Sentence Enhancements: The Case of Project Exile

    Ludwig, Jens and Steven Raphael (2003) "Prison Sentence Enhancements: The Case of Project Exile," in Ludwig, Jens and Philip J. Cook (eds), Evaluating Gun Policy: Effects on Crime and Violence, Brookings Institution Press: Washington, D.C.

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  • Modest Progress: The Narrowing Spatial Mismatch Between Blacks and Jobs in the 1990s

    Raphael, Steven and Michael Stoll (2002), Modest Progress: The Narrowing Spatial Mismatch Between Blacks and Jobs in the 1990s, The Brookings Institution: Washington, D.C.

    Findings

    An analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data on the location of people and jobs in U.S. metropolitan areas from 1990 to 2000 finds that:

    In 2000, no group was more physically isolated from jobs than blacks. In nearly all metropolitan areas with significant black populations, the separation between residences and jobs was much higher for blacks than whites.
    During the 1990s, blacks' overall proximity to jobs improved slightly, narrowing the gap in "spatial mismatch" between blacks and whites by 13 percent. Declines in spatial mismatch for blacks were smallest in metro areas in the Northeast, and in metro areas where blacks represent a relatively large share of the population.
    Metro areas with higher levels of black-white residential segregation exhibit a higher degree of spatial mismatch between blacks and jobs. In metro areas that experienced declines in black-white segregation during the 1990s, such as Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN and Pittsburgh, PA, the spatial mismatch between blacks and jobs tended to decline as well.
    The residential movement of black households within metropolitan areas drove most of the overall decline in spatial mismatch for blacks in the 1990s. By contrast, had black residential locations remained the same in 2000 as in 1990, the movement of jobs over the decade actually would have increased spatial mismatch for the metropolitan black population.

  • The Anatomy of the ‘€œAnatomy of Racial Inequality’

    Raphael, Steven (2002), "The Anatomy of the '€œAnatomy of Racial Inequality'," Journal of Economic Literature, 40(4): 1202-1214.

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  • “Immigration Reform and the Earnings of Latino Workers: Do Employer Sanctions Cause Discrimination?

    Bansak, Cynthia and Steven Raphael (2002) "“Immigration Reform and the Earnings of Latino Workers: Do Employer Sanctions Cause Discrimination?," (reprinted from Industrial & Labor Relations Review, 54(2): 275-295, (2001)) Immigration and National Law Review, 22.

  • Car Ownership, Employment, and Earnings

    Raphael, Steven and Lorien Rice (2002) "Car Ownership, Employment, and Earnings," Journal of Urban Economics, 52: 109-130.

    In this paper, we attempt to assess whether the positive effects of car ownership on employment outcomes observed in past research are causal. We match state-level data on average car insurance premiums and average per-gallon gas taxes to a nationally representative microdata sample containing information on car ownership and employment outcomes comparable to the those explored in previous research. In OLS regressions that control for observable demographic and human capital variables, we find large differences in employment rates, weekly hours worked, and hourly earnings between those with and without cars. Instrumenting car ownership on insurance and gas tax costs yields estimates of the employment and hours effects of car ownership that are quite close to the OLS estimates. Concerning wages, the IV models yield negative effects of car ownership on wages. This finding is consistent with the hypothesis that employers located in states with high auto maintenance costs must pay compensating differentials to their employees. When we stratify the sample by skill groupings, we find positive significant employment and hours effects for all skill groups, with larger car-employment effects for low-skilled workers and comparable hours effects across skill categories. Again, the IV results for wages yield negative effects that are insignificant for low- and mediumskilled workers and significant for high-skilled workers.

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  • School-Based Peer Effects and Juvenile Behavior

    Gaviria, Alejandro and Steven Raphael (2001), "School-Based Peer Effects and Juvenile Behavior," Review of Economics and Statistics, 83(2): 257-268.

    We use a sample of tenth-graders to test for peer-group influences on the propensity to engage in five activities: drug use, alcohol drinking, cigarette smoking, church going, and the likelihood of dropping out of high school. We find strong evidence of peer-group effects at the school level for all activities. Tests for bias due to endogenous school choice yield mixed results. We find evidence of endogeneity bias for two of the five activities analyzed (drug use and alcohol drinking). On the whole, these results confirm the findings of previous research concerning interaction effects at the neighborhood level.

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  • Can Boosting Minority Car-Ownership Rates Narrow Inter-Racial Employment Gaps?

    Raphael, Steven and Michael Stoll (2001) "Can Boosting Minority Car-Ownership Rates Narrow Inter-Racial Employment Gaps?," in William G. Gale and Janet Rothenberg Pack (eds), The Brookings Wharton Papers on Urban Economic Affairs, volume 2, The Brookings Institution: Washington, DC: pp 99-145.

  • Homelessness in California

    Quigley, John; Raphael, Steven and Eugene Smolensky (2001) Homelessness in California, Public Policy Institute of California Monograph Series, San Francisco: CA.

    Rapidly rising homelessness in the 1980s shocked Americans and led to a flurry of studies, a deluge of news stories, and to Public Law 100-77, the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act of July 1987. The McKinney Act marked the entrance of the federal government into homelessness policy, which, until then, had been a purely local issue. A dozen years later, housing the homeless remains a recurrent political issue in many cities in California. Improving the quality of life of those without a regular and decent place to spend the night rests primarily with a multitude of nonprofit organizations. Meagerly funded by all levels of government, they must not only house the homeless but must also attend to their many personal problems. While a multifaceted approach is probably required to eliminate the homelessness problem, in California homelessness might be substantially reduced with modest policy changes attacking the problem in the most obvious way: by adding to the stock of adequate housing accessible to the poor. We explore options that aim to do exactly that in this monograph.

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  • The Economics of Homelessness: A View from North America

    Quigley, John and Steven Raphael (2001), "The Economics of Homelessness: A View from North America," European Journal of Housing Policy, 1(3): 323-336.

    It is generally believed that the increased incidence of homelessness in the US has arisen from broad societal factors – changes in the institutionalization of the mentally ill, increases in drug addiction and alcohol usage, etc. This paper reports on a comprehensive test of the alternate hypothesis that variations in homelessness arise from changed circumstances in the housing market and in the income distribution. We utilize essentially all the systematic information available on homelessness in US urban areas – census counts, shelter bed counts, records of transfer payments, and administrative agency estimates. We use these data to estimate the effects of housing prices, vacancies, and rentto-income ratios upon the incidence of homelessness. Our results suggest that simple economic principles governing the availability and pricing of housing and the growth in demand for the lowest quality housing explain a large portion of the variation in homelessness among US metropolitan housing markets. Furthermore, rather modest improvements in the affordability of rental housing or its availability can substantially reduce the incidence of homelessness in the US.

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  • High-Tech Industries in California: Panacea or Problem?

    Brown, Clair; Campbell, Ben and Steven Raphael (2001), "High-Tech Industries in California: Panacea or Problem?"in Ong, Paul and James Lincoln (eds.) The State of California Labor, Institute of Industrial Relations, Berkeley: CA, pp. 149-160.

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  • Homeless in America, Homeless in California

    Quigley, John M., Steven Raphael, and Eugene Smolensky. "Homeless in America, Homeless in California." Review of Economics and Statistics 83.1 (2001): 37-51.

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  • Are Suburban Firms More Likely to Discriminate Against African-Americans?

    Holzer, Harry; Raphael, Steven and Michael Stoll (2000) "Are Suburban Firms More Likely to Discriminate Against African-Americans?," Journal of Urban Economics, 48(3): 485-508.

    This paper assesses whether African-Americans are more likely to experience employment discrimination in the suburbs relative to the central city. We compare central city-suburban differences in racial hiring outcomes for firms where whites are in charge of hiring to the comparable difference for firms where blacks are in charge of hiring. Both suburban black and white employers hire fewer blacks than their central-city counterparts. This geographic gap among black employers is at least as large as that of white employers. Assuming no discrimination by black employers in any location, this implies that the probability of experiencing discrimination does not vary over space. Black firms, however, are substantially more likely to hire black workers regardless of location.

  • Racial Differences in Spatial Job Search Patterns: Exploring the Causes and Consequences

    Raphael, Steven and Michael Stoll (2000) "Racial Differences in Spatial Job Search Patterns: Exploring the Causes and Consequences," Economic Geography, 76(3): 201-223.

    In this paper, we present an analysis of the spatial job search patterns of black, white, and Latino workers in Los Angeles. We find that blacks and Latinos tend to search in areas where employment growth is low, whereas whites tend to search in areas where it is high. Moreover, over half of the mean racial and ethnic differences in the quality of spatial job search (as measured by mean employment growth in areas searched) is explained by racial residential segregation. In addition, racial segregation is a more important explanation of racial differences in spatial job search quality than systematic differences in social networks and job search methods, though these factors matter. Spatial job search quality has a positive and significant effect on the employment of whites and blacks, but not Latinos, and explains nearly 40 percent of the difference between white and black employment rates. These results are consistent with the existence of spatial mismatch in urban labor markets and imply that racial residential segregation limits the job opportunities of blacks, and to a lesser extent Latinos, in metropolitan areas.

  • Estimating the Union Earnings Effect Using a Sample of Displaced Workers

    Raphael, Steven (2000), "Estimating the Union Earnings Effect Using a Sample of Displaced Workers," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 53(3): 503-521.

    This paper improves on past longitudinal estimates of the union earnings effect by using a sample of workers for whom the error in measuring changes in union status is minimized. The author uses a sample of workers displaced by plant closings from the 1994 and 1996 Current Population Survey Displaced Workers Supplement files to estimate the effects of union membership on weekly earnings. When models are estimated using the entire sample of displaced workers, longitudinal estimates of the union earnings effect are quite similar in magnitude to estimates from cross-sectional regressions. In models estimated separately by skill group, the author finds some evidence of positive selection into unions among workers with low observed skills and negative selection into unions among workers with high observed skills.