Short Criminals: Stature and Crime in Early America
AbstractWe consider the extent to which an individual’s height affected the age at which he entered into criminal activity in early America. Using data on prisoners incarcerated in Pennsylvania’s nineteenth-century prisons, we show that prisoners were short relative to the contemporary population. Then, using Weibull continuous-time duration econometric models, we show that age at entry into criminal activity was negatively associated with an individual’s height after controlling for several individual characteristics. The results are consistent with recent research showing that shorter individuals face less attractive legitimate labor market opportunities because lower stature is associated with lower cognitive ability and because of general discrimination against shorter people.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal The Journal of Law and Economics.
Volume (Year): 55 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 393 - 419
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Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/
Other versions of this item:
- Howard Bodenhorn & Carolyn Moehling & Gregory N. Price, 2010. "Short Criminals: Stature and Crime in Early America," NBER Working Papers 15945, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law
- N31 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
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- Böckerman, Petri & Johansson, Edvard & Kiiskinen, Urpo & Heliövaara, Markku, 2010. "The relationship between physical work and the height premium: Finnish evidence," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 414-420, December.
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