HKS Affiliated Authors

Additional Authors:

  • Zoe Cullen


February 2023, Paper: "We experimentally test several approaches to increasing the demand for work- ers with a criminal record on a nationwide staffing platform by addressing poten- tial downside risk and productivity concerns. The staffing platform asked hiring managers to make a series of hypothetical hiring decisions that affected whether workers with a criminal record could accept their jobs in the future. We find that 39% of businesses in our sample are willing to work with individuals with a crim- inal record at baseline, which rises to over 50% when businesses are offered crime and safety insurance, a single performance review, or a limited background check covering just the past year. Wage subsidies can achieve similar increases but at a substantially higher cost. Based on our findings, the staffing platform relaxed the criminal background check requirement and offered crime and safety insurance to interested businesses. "