Does a Criminal Past Predict Worker Performance? Evidence from One of America’s Largest Employers

There is no real difference in work performance between people with criminal records and those without. By analyzing the attrition and work termination rates due to poor performance for 1.3 million people employed by the military from 2002-2009, this study found little difference between the two groups. Furthermore, employees with felony convictions are slightly more likely to be promoted at a faster rate and to higher positions than those without.


Lundquist, J. H., Pager, D., & Strader, E. (2018). Does a Criminal Past Predict Worker Performance? Evidence from One of America’s Largest Employers. Social Forces, 96(3), 1039–1068. https://doi.org/10.1093/sf/sox092

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Open Access Source: https://booksc.org/book/68655333/936308