PDFDownload paper RWP 20-04, July 2020

Over the last 15 years, 11 states have restricted employers’ access to the credit reports of job applicants. We estimate that county-level job vacancies have fallen by 5.5 percent in occupations affected by these laws relative to exempt occupations in the same counties and national-level vacancies for the same occupations. Cross-sectional heterogeneity suggests that employers use credit reports as signals of a worker’s ability to perform the job: vacancies fall more in counties with a large share of subprime residents, while they fall less for occupations with other commonly available signals. Vacancies fall most for occupations involving routine tasks, suggesting that credit reports contain information relevant for these types of jobs.

JEL Classification: E24, E65, J23, J63

Article Citation

  • Cortés, Kristle, Andrew Glover, and Murat Tasci. 2020. “The Unintended Consequences of Employer Credit Check Bans for Labor Markets.” Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Research Working Paper no. 20-04, July. Available at External Linkhttps://doi.org/10.18651/RWP2020-04


Andrew Glover

Senior Economist

Andrew Glover is a senior economist in the economic research department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. His research studies labor and credit markets from a macroecon…