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Skill-Biased Technological Change, Earnings of Unskilled Workers, and Crime

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  • Mocan Naci

    (Department of Economics, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA; National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge MA 02138-5398, USA; IZA Institute of Labor Economics, Schaumburg-Lippe-Straße 5-9, 53113 Bonn, Germany)

  • Unel Bulent

    (Department of Economics, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA)

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of unskilled workers’ earnings on crime. We create indexes of skill-biased technological change which vary by state and year, or by state, year, and industry. These indexes are used as instruments for earnings in crime regressions. We analyze US state panels, and also run structural crime equations using micro panel data from NLSY97. Estimated elasticities are markedly larger than those obtained by previous studies. Considering technology being adopted at the regional level does not alter the results appreciably. We also find evidence for asymmetric impact of unskilled workers’ earnings on crime.

Suggested Citation

  • Mocan Naci & Unel Bulent, 2017. "Skill-Biased Technological Change, Earnings of Unskilled Workers, and Crime," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 13(3), pages 1-46, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:rlecon:v:13:y:2017:i:3:p:46:n:5
    DOI: 10.1515/rle-2016-0017
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    Cited by:

    1. Stephen Machin & Olivier Marie & Sunčica Vujić, 2012. "Youth Crime and Education Expansion," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 13(4), pages 366-384, November.
    2. William Harbaugh & Naci Mocan & Michael Visser, 2013. "Theft and Deterrence," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 34(4), pages 389-407, December.
    3. Csapó, Gergely & Müller, Rudolf, 2013. "Optimal mechanism design for the private supply of a public good," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 229-242.
    4. Steve Brito & Ana Corbacho & Rene Osorio Rivas, 2014. "Remittances and the Impact on Crime in Mexico," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 85093, Inter-American Development Bank.
    5. Christine Braun, 2019. "Crime and the minimum wage," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 32, pages 122-152, April.
    6. Laura Jaitman, 2019. "Frontiers in the economics of crime: lessons for Latin America and the Caribbean," Latin American Economic Review, Springer;Centro de Investigaciòn y Docencia Económica (CIDE), vol. 28(1), pages 1-36, December.
    7. Mocan, Naci & Raschke, Christian & Unel, Bulent, 2015. "The impact of mothers’ earnings on health inputs and infant health," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 19(C), pages 204-223.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    technological change; earnings; low-skill workers;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

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