【主题】Incarceration of African American Men and the Impacts on Women and Children
【报告人】Sitian Liu（助理教授, 女王大学）
【摘要】Since the early 1970s, the United States has experienced a dramatic surge in imprisonment, especially among African American men. This paper investigates the causal effects of black male incarceration on black women's marriage and labor market outcomes, as well as its effects on black children's family structure, long-run educational outcomes, and income. To establish causality, I exploit plausibly exogenous changes in sentencing policies across states and over years, and construct a simulated instrumental variable for the incarceration rate, using offender-level data on the universe of prisoners admitted to and released from prisons between 1986 and 2009. The instrument characterizes how sentencing policies affect incarceration at both the extensive margin (i.e., whether to incarcerate an arrestee) and the intensive margin (i.e., how long to imprison an inmate). First, I find that high incarceration rates of black men negatively affect black women's marriage outcomes, although they increase the likelihood of employment for those with higher education levels. Second, higher black male incarceration rates hurt black children by increasing the likelihood of out-of-wedlock birth and living in a mother-only family, and decreasing the likelihood of having some college education in the long run. Moreover, for individuals who lived in areas with harsher sentencing policies during childhood, the black-white income gap is wider for men conditional on parental income. Third, black men at either the extensive or intensive margin of incarceration have different impacts on women and children. The results suggest the consequences of the tough-on-crime policies for inequality and racial gaps, which could be taken into account when reforming sentencing policies.