In 2020, gun violence killed nearly 20,000. Gun deaths have increased by 30% since the start of the pandemic. Working with city leaders, C2C researchers helped design new summer job opportunities for low-income youth and are evaluating the program’s long-term impacts on violent crime based on the premise that “Nothing stops a bullet like a job.” 

Policy Relevant Articles

  • Year-Round Benefits from Summer Jobs Education Next
    • This article from Dr. Modestino and Richard Paulsen examines the longer term benefits of Boston’s Summer Youth Employment Program. The research shows that supervised work experiences improve high-school graduation rates and boost students’ employability, work habits, and family finances. With clear and positive benefits that last beyond the summer, seasonal youth jobs programs have an important role to play in the landscape of extracurricular activities.
  • How Can Summer Jobs Reduce Crime Among Youth? Brookings Institution
    • As cities across the nation struggle to decrease crime, this article discusses the impacts of Summer Youth Employment Programs on later criminality among youth, primarily exploring if short-term behavioral changes were linked to long-term benefits​. The findings of the conducted study found participants to be 35% less likely to commit violent crimes, 57% less likely to commit property crimes. Youth additionally experienced increases in social skills and positive attitudes/aspirations, with younger and disadvantaged youths experiencing the greatest benefits.
  • The Promises of Summer Youth Employment Programs: Lessons from Randomized Evaluations. Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL)
    • Examining the outcomes of SYEP participation, this article regards a study conducted on the programs’ benefits. The study found that SYEPs increased employment and wages, decreased criminal activity and negative social outcomes, while impacts on educational outcomes and formal sector employment were ambiguous.
  • To “build back better,” we must connect young people to jobs and education. Brookings Institution
      • Concerning the sharp rise in youth unemployment spurred by the pandemic, this article discusses how Boston modified its SYEP offerings, to great success. The article concludes with a call-to-action, asking other cities to adopt SYEPs and simplifying the creation process for prospective adopters.
  • Saving Summer Jobs: How Summer Youth Employment Programs Improve Youth Outcomes during COVID-19. MassBenchmarks Journal
    • In this journal feature, Dr. Modestino describes the history and benefits of SYEPs while discussing the necessary changes that came to them due to the pandemic. The feature begins with describing the format of the program, goes into pandemic-related changes, then describes, in detail, the data-backed positive impacts of SYEPs. Analysis of the data shows that these programs provide numerous benefits in multiple areas of life, criminal activity, in particular, sharply dropping among participants.
  • Reducing Inequality Summer by Summer: An Analysis of the Short-Term and Long-Term Effects Boston’s Summer Youth Employment Program. Boston Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development
    • Describing the outcomes of Boston’s SYEP, this article delves into the short- and long-term benefits of the program on youth. Violent crimes dropped by 35%, property crimes dropped by 57%, and youth experiences sharp increases in emotional regulation and conflict-resolution skills conducive to preventing aggressive, anti-social behavior and criminal activity.
  • Why More Cities Should Offer Summer Jobs for Teens. Harvard Business Review
    • Summer youth employment was the lowest it’s been in over 40 years in 2020, with 37% youth unemployment. This has been partly due to the pandemic, partly due to educational summer opportunities that are not open to lower-income youth. This article argues that, to both decrease youth unemployment and increase educational, criminal, and professional outcomes of disadvantaged youth, cities should implement SYEPs. The article explicates upon these, noting a 35, 57, and 15 percent decrease in violent crime, property crime, and course reductions, respectively. School attendance increased by 2.5% as well, and participants became more likely to aspire to obtain 2-4 year degrees.

Peer Reviewed Articles