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The Individual and Joint Performance of Economic Preferences, Personality, and Self-Control in Predicting Criminal Behavior

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  • Friehe, Tim

    ()
    (University of Bonn)

  • Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah

    ()
    (University of Bonn)

Abstract

We explore the individual and joint explanatory power of concepts from economics, psychology, and criminology for criminal behavior. More precisely, we consider risk and time preferences, personality traits from psychology (Big Five and locus of control), and a self-control scale from criminology. We find that economic preferences, personality traits, and self-control complement each other in predicting criminal behavior. The most significant predictors stem from all three disciplines: risk aversion, conscientiousness, and high self-control make criminal behavior less likely. Our results illustrate that integrating concepts from various disciplines enhances our understanding of individual behavior.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7894.

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Length: 14 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7894

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Keywords: crime; risk preferences; time preferences; personality traits; self-control; experiment;

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  1. Traxler, Christian & Winter, Joachim, 2009. "Survey Evidence on Conditional Norm Enforcement," Discussion Papers in Economics 8992, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Jean-Robert Tyran & Lars P. Feld, 2006. "Achieving Compliance when Legal Sanctions are Non-deterrent," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(1), pages 135-156, 03.
  3. Heckman, James J., 2011. "Integrating Personality Psychology into Economics," IZA Discussion Papers 5950, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Becker Anke & Deckers Thomas & Dohmen Thomas & Falk Armin & Kosse Fabian, 2012. "The relationship between economic preferences and psychological personality measures," ROA Research Memorandum 012, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  5. Deborah Cobb-Clark & Stefanie Schurer, 2011. "The Stability of Big-Five Personality Traits," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2011n21, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  6. Borghans, Lex & Duckworth, Angela Lee & Heckman, James J. & ter Weel, Bas, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," IZA Discussion Papers 3333, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  8. Hörisch, Hannah & Strassmair, Christina, 2008. "An experimental test of the deterrence hypothesis," Discussion Papers in Economics 2139, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  9. Christine Henle & Charlie Reeve & Virginia Pitts, 2010. "Stealing Time at Work: Attitudes, Social Pressure, and Perceived Control as Predictors of Time Theft," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 94(1), pages 53-67, June.
  10. 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.
  11. Tim Friehe & Hannah Schildberg-Hörisch, 2014. "Crime and Self-Control Revisited: Disentangling the Effect of Self-Control on Risk and Social Preferences," CESifo Working Paper Series 4747, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  13. Almlund, Mathilde & Duckworth, Angela Lee & Heckman, James J. & Kautz, Tim, 2011. "Personality Psychology and Economics," IZA Discussion Papers 5500, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Davis, Michael L, 1988. "Time and Punishment: An Intertemporal Model of Crime," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 383-90, April.
  15. William Harbaugh & Naci Mocan & Michael Visser, 2013. "Theft and Deterrence," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 34(4), pages 389-407, December.
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