Youth Criminal Participation and Household Economic Status
AbstractThis paper uses data from the NLSY97 to estimate the degree to which youth criminal participation is related to household economic status. The first part of the paper indicates that there exists a strong negative relationship between house- hold economic status and youth participation in serious crimes, with youth from households in the poorest third of the wealth distribution being over 65 percent more likely to have participated in a serious crime over the observation period than youth coming from households in the richest third of the wealth distribution. How- ever, I show that the strength of this estimated relationship will be significantly understated if crimes are not limited to being serious in nature and/or household income as opposed to household wealth is used to measure household economic sta- tus. The latter part of the paper then shows that most of the observed relationship between household wealth and youth participation in serious criminal activity can be accounted for by various measures of youth expectations of future opportunities, neighborhood criminal exposure, and investments in children by parents.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by McMaster University in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number 2004-10.
Length: 56 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2004
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