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Education, Work, and Crime: A Human Capital Approach

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  • Lance Lochner

Abstract

This paper develops a model of crime in which human capital increases the opportunity cost of crime from foregone work and expected costs associated with incarceration. Older, more intelligent, and more educated adults should commit fewer street (unskilled) crimes. White collar crimes decline less (or increase) with age and education. Predictions for age-crime and education-crime relationships receive broad empirical support in self-report data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and arrest data from the Uniform Crime Reports. The effects of education, training, and wage subsidies, as well as enforcement policies on criminal behavior are discussed.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10478.

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Date of creation: May 2004
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Publication status: published as Lochner, Lance. "Education, Work And Crime: A Human Capital Approach," International Economic Review, 2004, v45(3,Aug), 811-843.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10478

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  2. 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.
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  7. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 1999. "Making Single Mothers Work: Recent Tax and Welfare Policy and its Effects," JCPR Working Papers, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research 152, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  8. 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.
  9. Harris Dellas & Plutarchos Sakellaris, 2003. "On the cyclicality of schooling: theory and evidence," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 148-172, January.
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  11. Freeman, Richard B., 1999. "The economics of crime," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 52, pages 3529-3571 Elsevier.
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  16. H. Naci Mocan & Stephen C. Billups & Jody Overland, 2000. "A Dynamic Model of Differential Human Capital and Criminal Activity," NBER Working Papers 7584, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Donohue, John J, III & Siegelman, Peter, 1998. "Allocating Resources among Prisons and Social Programs in the Battle against Crime," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 1-43, January.
  18. Derek A. Neal & William R. Johnson, 1995. "The Role of Pre-Market Factors in Black-White Wage Differences," NBER Working Papers 5124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. W. Kip Viscusi, 1986. "Market Incentives for Criminal Behavior," NBER Chapters, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, in: The Black Youth Employment Crisis, pages 301-351 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Meyer, Bruce D. & Rosenbaum, Dan T., 2000. "Making Single Mothers Work: Recent Tax and Welfare Policy and its Effects," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(n. 4), pages 1027-62, December.
  21. 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.
  22. James J. Heckman & Lance Lochner & Christopher Taber, 1998. "Explaining Rising Wage Inequality: Explorations with a Dynamic General Equilibrium Model of Labor Earnings with Heterogeneous Agents," NBER Working Papers 6384, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Tauchen, Helen & Witte, Ann Dryden & Griesinger, Harriet, 1994. "Criminal Deterrence: Revisiting the Issue with a Birth Cohort," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(3), pages 399-412, August.
  24. Chien-Chieh Huang & Derek Laing & Ping Wang, 2004. "Crime And Poverty: A Search-Theoretic Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(3), pages 909-938, 08.
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