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A Dynamic Model of Differential Human Capital and Criminal Activity

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  • H. Naci Mocan
  • Stephen C. Billups
  • Jody Overland

Abstract

This paper presents a dynamic model of criminal activity. Individuals are endowed with legal and criminal human capital. Potential incomes in legal and criminal sectors depend on the level of the relevant human capital, the rate of return and random shocks. Human capital can be enhanced by participating in both sectors. Legal human capital can also be enhanced through investment. Human capital is subject to depreciation. Individuals maximize expected discounted lifetime utility, which depends on consumption. The model allows analyses of the effects of recessions, imprisonment/rehabilitation scenarios, sanctions and returns to human capital. New insights, such as hysteresis in criminal behaviour, are obtained. Copyright (c) The London School of Economics and Political Science 2005.

Suggested Citation

  • H. Naci Mocan & Stephen C. Billups & Jody Overland, 2005. "A Dynamic Model of Differential Human Capital and Criminal Activity," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 72(288), pages 655-681, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:72:y:2005:i:288:p:655-681
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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