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Education, Work, and Crime: Theory and Evidence

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Author Info

  • Lochner, L.

Abstract

This paper develops and empirically examines a dynamic model of decisions to work, invest in human capital, and commit crime. By making all three activities endogenous, the model makes a number of new and interesting contributions to the study of crime. First, the model explains why older, more intelligent, and more educated workers tend to commit less of some property crimes than others. Second, the model is useful for analyzing the impacts of education, training, and work subsidies on criminal behavior. Third, unobserved age differences in on-the-job skill investment explain why wages and crime are more negatively correlated at older ages. Fourth, the model predicts a rise in youth crime should accompany the recent rise in returns to skills. Finally, the model suggests that law enforcement policies increase education, training and labor supply, while reducing criminal activity.

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File URL: http://rcer.econ.rochester.edu/RCERPAPERS/rcer_465.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER) in its series RCER Working Papers with number 465.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:roc:rocher:465

Contact details of provider:
Postal: University of Rochester, Center for Economic Research, Department of Economics, Harkness 231 Rochester, New York 14627 U.S.A.

Related research

Keywords: EDUCATION ; CRIMES ; WORK;

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References

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  1. Lance Lochner, 2003. "Individual Perceptions of the Criminal Justice System," NBER Working Papers 9474, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. Jeff Grogger, 1997. "Market Wages and Youth Crime," NBER Working Papers 5983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "Crime and the Employment of Disadvantaged Youths," NBER Working Papers 3875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Dan Usher, 1993. "Education as a Deterrent to Crime," Working Papers 870, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  6. 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.
  7. W. Kip Viscusi, 1986. "Market Incentives for Criminal Behavior," NBER Chapters, in: The Black Youth Employment Crisis, pages 301-351 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Heckman, James J & Lochner, Lance & Taber, Christopher, 1998. "Tax Policy and Human-Capital Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 293-97, May.
  9. Mustard, David B, 2001. "Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Disparities in Sentencing: Evidence from the U.S. Federal Courts," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(1), pages 285-314, April.
  10. John Bound & Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "What Went Wrong? The Erosion of Relative Earnings and Employment Among Young Black Men in the 1980s," NBER Working Papers 3778, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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, vol. 27(1), pages 1-43, January.
  12. Steven D. Levitt, 1997. "Juvenile Crime and Punishment," NBER Working Papers 6191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
  14. Casey B. Mulligan, 1998. "Substitution over Time: Another Look at Life Cycle Labor Supply," NBER Working Papers 6585, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. John Cawley & Karen Conneely & James Heckman & Edward Vytlacil, 1996. "Cognitive Ability, Wages, and Meritocracy," NBER Working Papers 5645, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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