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Understanding the Cycle: Childhood Maltreatment and Future Crime

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  • Janet Currie
  • Erdal Tekin

Abstract

Child maltreatment is a major social problem. This paper focuses on measuring the relationship between child maltreatment and crime using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). We focus on crime because it is one of the most costly potential outcomes of maltreatment. Our work addresses two main limitations of the existing literature on child maltreatment. First, we use a large national sample, and investigate different types of maltreatment in a unified framework. Second, we pay careful attention to controlling for possible confounders using a variety of statistical methods that make differing assumptions. The results suggest that maltreatment greatly increases the probability of engaging in crime and that the probability increases with the experience of multiple forms of maltreatment.

Suggested Citation

  • Janet Currie & Erdal Tekin, 2012. "Understanding the Cycle: Childhood Maltreatment and Future Crime," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(2), pages 509-549.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:46:y:2012:ii:1:p:509-549
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Janet Currie, 2009. "Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise: Socioeconomic Status, Poor Health in Childhood, and Human Capital Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 87-122.
    2. Nevin, Rick, 2007. "Understanding international crime trends: The legacy of preschool lead exposure," MPRA Paper 35338, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Currie, Janet & Stabile, Mark, 2006. "Child mental health and human capital accumulation: The case of ADHD," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 1094-1118, November.
    4. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2008. "Formulating, Identifying and Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
    5. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman & Susanne M. Schennach, 2010. "Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(3), pages 883-931, May.
    6. Lance Lochner & Enrico Moretti, 2004. "The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self-Reports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 155-189.
    7. Mocan, H Naci & Tekin, Erdal, 2006. "Guns and Juvenile Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 507-531, October.
    8. Lance Lochner & Enrico Moretti, 2004. "The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self-Reports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 155-189.
    9. Erdal Tekin & Sara Markowitz, 2008. "The Relationship between Suicidal Behavior and Productive Activities of Young Adults," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 300-331, October.
    10. Jessica Wolpaw Reyes, 2007. "Environmental Policy as Social Policy? The Impact of Childhood Lead Exposure on Crime," NBER Working Papers 13097, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    12. Reyes Jessica Wolpaw, 2007. "Environmental Policy as Social Policy? The Impact of Childhood Lead Exposure on Crime," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, pages 1-43.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Laura Chioda, 2017. "Stop the Violence in Latin America," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 25920.
    2. Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Anna Zhu, 2017. "Childhood homelessness and adult employment: the role of education, incarceration, and welfare receipt," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, pages 893-924.
    3. Dianna T. Kenny & Susan Blacker & Mark Allerton, 2014. "Reculer Pour Mieux Sauter : A Review of Attachment and Other Developmental Processes Inherent in Identified Risk Factors for Juvenile Delinquency and Juvenile Offending," Laws, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(3), pages 1-30, July.
    4. Lindo, Jason M. & Schaller, Jessamyn & Hansen, Benjamin, 2013. "Economic Conditions and Child Abuse," IZA Discussion Papers 7355, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Tine Louise Mundbjerg Eriksen & Helena Skyt Nielsen & Marianne Simonsen, 2014. "Bullying in Elementary School," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 49(4), pages 839-871.
    6. Dionissi Aliprantis, 2013. "Human capital in the inner city," Working Paper 1302, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    7. Seth Gershenson & Erdal Tekin, 2015. "The Effect of Community Traumatic Events on Student Achievement: Evidence from the Beltway Sniper Attacks," NBER Working Papers 21055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. repec:spr:empeco:v:53:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s00181-016-1160-y is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Fletcher Jason M. & Schurer Stefanie, 2017. "Origins of Adulthood Personality: The Role of Adverse Childhood Experiences," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, pages 1-22.
    10. Ilpo Kauppinen & Panu Poutvaara, 2012. "Preferences for Redistribution among Emigrants from a Welfare State," ifo Working Paper Series 120, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    11. Karin Hederos Eriksson & Randi Hjalmarsson & Matthew J. Lindquist & Anna Sandberg, 2016. "The importance of family background and neighborhood effects as determinants of crime," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, pages 219-262.
    12. D. Mark Anderson & Resul Cesur & Erdal Tekin, 2015. "Youth Depression And Future Criminal Behavior," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 53(1), pages 294-317, January.
    13. repec:spr:jopoec:v:30:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s00148-017-0642-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Michael S. Rendall & Susan W. Parker, 2014. "Two Decades of Negative Educational Selectivity of Mexican Migrants to the United States," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., pages 421-446.
    15. Jason M. Lindo & Jessamyn Schaller & Benjamin Hansen, 2013. "Caution! Men Not at Work: Gender-Specific Labor Market Conditions and Child Maltreatment," NBER Working Papers 18994, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Anna Piil Damm & Christian Dustmann, 2014. "Does Growing Up in a High Crime Neighborhood Affect Youth Criminal Behavior?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1806-1832.
    17. Williams, Geoffrey Fain, 2015. "Property crime: Investigating career patterns and earnings," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 124-138.
    18. Cherry, Robert & Wang, Chun, 2016. "The link between male employment and child maltreatment in the U.S., 2000–2012," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 117-122.
    19. Anna Piil Damm & Christian Dustmann, 2014. "Does Growing Up in a High Crime Neighborhood Affect Youth Criminal Behavior?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1806-1832.
    20. Richard Akresh, 2016. "Climate Change, Conflict, and Children," HiCN Working Papers 221, Households in Conflict Network.
    21. Eriksen, Tine Louise Mundbjerg & Nielsen, Helena Skyt & Simonsen, Marianne, 2012. "The Effects of Bullying in Elementary School," IZA Discussion Papers 6718, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    22. Daniel Brown & Elisabetta De Cao, 2017. "The Impact of Unemployment on Child Maltreatment in the United States," Economics Series Working Papers 837, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    23. Hayduk Iryna, 2017. "The Effect of Kinship Placement Laws on Foster Children’s Well-Being," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, pages 1-23.
    24. Entorf, Horst, 2013. "Criminal Victims, Victimized Criminals, or Both? A Deeper Look at the Victim-Offender Overlap," IZA Discussion Papers 7686, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    25. Siminski, Peter & Ville, Simon & Paull, Alexander, 2013. "Does the Military Train Men to Be Violent Criminals? New Evidence from Australia's Conscription Lotteries," IZA Discussion Papers 7152, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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