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An Analysis of the Crime as Work Model: Evidence from the 1958 Philadelphia Birth Cohort Study

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  • Jenny Williams
  • Robin C. Sickles

Abstract

This paper builds on the neoclassical model of time allocation introduced by Gronau (1977), and revisited in the context of crime as work by Grogger (1998), by disaggregating the types of capital characterizing an individual to include social and criminal capital in addition to traditional human capital. The combination of juvenile and adult arrest data, labor market, and background variables make the sample we analyze, the 1958 Philadelphia Birth Cohort Study, especially well-suited to examining the relative importance of these aspects of individual capital. We find that human capital measures such as number of years of schooling have a significant impact on criminal choice in adulthood. We find that social capital measures such as peer influences during youth are also key predictors of criminality.

Suggested Citation

  • Jenny Williams & Robin C. Sickles, 2002. "An Analysis of the Crime as Work Model: Evidence from the 1958 Philadelphia Birth Cohort Study," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(3), pages 479-509.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:37:y:2002:i:3:p:479-509
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    Cited by:

    1. van Ours, Jan C. & Ward, Shannon & Williams, Jenny, 2015. "Bad Behavior: Delinquency, Arrest and Early School Leaving," CEPR Discussion Papers 10755, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Wolfgang Frimmel & Martin Halla & Jörg Paetzold, 2019. "The Intergenerational Causal Effect of Tax Evasion: Evidence from the Commuter Tax Allowance in Austria," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 17(6), pages 1843-1880.
    3. Friehe, Tim, 2013. "Tempting righteous citizens? Counterintuitive effects of increasing sanctions in the realm of organized crime," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 37-40.
    4. Randi Hjalmarsson & Matthew J. Lindquist, 2012. "Like Godfather, Like Son: Exploring the Intergenerational Nature of Crime," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(2), pages 550-582.
    5. Akçomak, İ. Semih & ter Weel, Bas, 2012. "The impact of social capital on crime: Evidence from the Netherlands," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 323-340.
    6. Baumann, Florian & Friehe, Tim, 2015. "Status concerns as a motive for crime?," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 46-55.
    7. 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.
    8. Antonio Merlo & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2008. "The Transition from School to Jail: Youth Crime and High School Completion Among Black Males, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 09-002, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 16 Jan 2009.
    9. Hjalmarsson, Randi & Lindquist, Matthew J., 2013. "The origins of intergenerational associations in crime: Lessons from Swedish adoption data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 68-81.
    10. Meghir, Costas & Palme, Mårten & Schnabel, Marieke, 2011. "The Effect of Education Policy on Crime: An Intergenerational Perspective," IZA Discussion Papers 6142, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Tatsushi Oka, 2009. "Juvenile crime and punishment: evidence from Japan," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(24), pages 3103-3115.
    12. Friehe, Tim & Müller, Helge & Neumeier, Florian, 2018. "The effect of Western TV on crime: Evidence from East Germany," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 346-372.
    13. Akcomak, Semih & Stoneman, Paul, 2010. "How novel is social capital: Three cases from the British history that reflect social capital," MERIT Working Papers 2010-015, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    14. Alexander Ahammer & Martin Halla, 2020. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Opioid Dependence: Evidence from Administrative Data," Economics working papers 2020-10, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    15. Nordin , Martin, 2014. "Does Eligibility for Tertiary Education Affect Crime Rates? Quasi-Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 2014:14, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    16. Bezin, Emeline & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2018. "Crime, Broken Families, and Punishment," CEPR Discussion Papers 13014, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Merlo, Antonio & Wolpin, Kenneth I., 2015. "The transition from school to jail: Youth crime and high school completion among black males," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 234-251.
    18. Justin McCrary, 2010. "Dynamic Perspectives on Crime," Chapters, in: Bruce L. Benson & Paul R. Zimmerman (ed.), Handbook on the Economics of Crime, chapter 4, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    19. Clive R Belfield & Milagros Nores & Steve Barnett & Lawrence Schweinhart, 2006. "The High/Scope Perry Preschool Program: Cost–Benefit Analysis Using Data from the Age-40 Followup," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(1).

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