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Are Idle Hands the Devil's Workshop? Incapacitation, Concentration, and Juvenile Crime

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  • Brian A. Jacob
  • Lars Lefgren

Abstract

This paper examines the short-term effect of school on juvenile crime. To do so, we bring together daily measures of criminal activity and detailed school calendar information from 29 jurisdictions across the country, and utilize the plausibly exogenous variation generated by teacher in-service days. We find that the level of property crime committed by juveniles decreases by 14 percent on days when school is in session, but the level of violent crime increases by 28 percent on such days. Our findings suggest that both incapacitation and concentration influence juvenile crime.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/000282803322655446
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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/jacob_data.zip
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 93 (2003)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 1560-1577

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:93:y:2003:i:5:p:1560-1577

Note: DOI: 10.1257/000282803322655446
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  1. Richard B. Freeman, 1996. "Why Do So Many Young American Men Commit Crimes and What Might We Do About It?," NBER Working Papers 5451, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Alejandro Gaviria & Steven Raphael, 2001. "School-Based Peer Effects And Juvenile Behavior," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 257-268, May.
  3. Jeffrey R. Kling, 1999. "The Effect of Prison Sentence Length on the Subsequent Employment and Earnings of Criminal Defendants," Working Papers 156, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Discussion Papers in Economics..
  4. Lochner, L., 1999. "Education, Work, and Crime: Theory and Evidence," RCER Working Papers 465, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  5. Lance Lochner & Enrico Moretti, 2001. "The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self-Reports," NBER Working Papers 8605, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Nagin, Daniel & Waldfogel, Joel, 1995. "The effects of criminality and conviction on the labor market status of young British offenders," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 109-126, January.
  7. Steven D. Levitt & Lance Lochner, 2001. "The Determinants of Juvenile Crime," NBER Chapters, in: Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis, pages 327-374 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Waldfogel, Joel, 1994. "Does conviction have a persistent effect on income and employment?," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 103-119, March.
  9. Jeffrey Grogger, 1997. "Local Violence and Educational Attainment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(4), pages 659-682.
  10. Jeff Grogger, 1997. "Market Wages and Youth Crime," NBER Working Papers 5983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Steven D. Levitt, 1998. "Juvenile Crime and Punishment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1156-1185, December.
  12. Anderson, David A, 1999. "The Aggregate Burden of Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(2), pages 611-42, October.
  13. H. Naci Mocan & Daniel I. Rees, 1999. "Economic Conditions, Deterrence and Juvenile Crime: Evidence from Micro Data," NBER Working Papers 7405, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Lott, John Jr., 1990. "The effect of conviction on the legitimate income of criminals," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 381-385, December.
  15. Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "Crime and the Employment of Disadvantaged Youths," NBER Working Papers 3875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Grogger, Jeffrey, 1995. "The Effect of Arrests on the Employment and Earnings of Young Men," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(1), pages 51-71, February.
  17. Grogger, Jeff, 1992. "Arrests, Persistent Youth Joblessness, and Black/White Employment Differentials," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(1), pages 100-106, February.
  18. Joel Waldfogel, 1994. " The Effect of Criminal Conviction on Income and the Trust "Reposed in the Workmen"," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(1), pages 62-81.
  19. Jerry A. Hausman & Bronwyn H. Hall & Zvi Griliches, 1984. "Econometric Models for Count Data with an Application to the Patents-R&D Relationship," NBER Technical Working Papers 0017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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