Youth Crime, Community Service and Labor Market Outcomes

JOIN Session

Meeting ID: 663 2379 8644

Passcode: 268402


This study evaluates the effect of youth community service - in effect a form of employment training program - as a criminal sanction for juvenile offenders aged 15-17, on labor market outcomes. When introduced in 2007, youth community service was dealt to 46 per cent of all youth offenders in Sweden, mainly replacing fines and rehabilitation. Using this sharp difference in sentences between 2006 and 2007, a regression discontinuity design is applied. Results indicate positive effects on income and employment in the short- and medium run, and these effects are stronger among youth from adverse family backgrounds and those convicted of violent crimes. On average, the reform did not affect post-conviction educational choices or recidivism, indicating that the the positive effects on employment are driven by network formation or job-specific skill formation/attestation, rather than by general improvements in skills and behavior.