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Crime, Entrepreneurship, And Labor Force Withdrawal




This article explores the links between self-admitted drug dealing and labor force behavior to determine if and/or how returns to employment influence the decisions by both blacks and whites to enter drug dealing. Using data collected on inmates in prisons and jails in California, Michigan, and Texas, this analysis concludes that black and white offenders vastly differ in their perceptions of criminal opportunities. But the dominant factor contributing to entry into drug selling, especially among black males, is unattractive market opportunities. One cannot determine unambiguously whether this results from the lure of drug dealing for its entrepreneurial attractiveness or simply results from crime versus employment choices. In any case, evidence presented clearly shows that racial differences in returns to employment explain most of the gap between black and white drug dealing. Copyright 1992 Western Economic Association International.

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  • Samuel L. Myers, 1992. "Crime, Entrepreneurship, And Labor Force Withdrawal," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 10(2), pages 84-97, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:10:y:1992:i:2:p:84-97

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Samuel L. Myers, 1983. "Estimating the Economic Model of Crime: Employment Versus Punishment Effects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(1), pages 157-166.
    2. Ann Dryden Witte, 1980. "Estimating the Economic Model of Crime With Individual Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(1), pages 57-84.
    3. Helen V. Tauchen & Ann Dryden Witte & Harriet Griesinger, 1988. "Deterrence, Work and Crime: Revisiting the Issues with Birth Cohort Data," NBER Working Papers 2508, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Block, M K & Heineke, J M, 1975. "A Labor Theoretic Analysis of the Criminal Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 314-325, June.
    5. Samuel Myers, 1978. "The economics of crime in the urban ghetto," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 43-59, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kenneth Avio, 1998. "The Economics of Prisons," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 143-175, September.
    2. Samuel L. Myers & Chanjin Chung, 1998. "Criminal Perceptions And Violent Criminal Victimization," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 16(3), pages 321-333, July.

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