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Property Crime: Just a Risky Occupation? Exploring the Issue with a Birth Cohort


  • Jenny Williams

    (School of Economics, University of Adelaide)


This paper investigates the relationship between property crimes and work using data from the 1958 Philadelphia Birth Cohort Study. These data provide a unique opportunity to investigate the crime as work model, containing information on earnings and arrests for a sample representative of young men is US urban areas. We find that working significantly decreases the probabilty of committing crime, as does educational attainment. However, higher wages are not associated with a lower probability of committing crime. Measures of social influence during childhood and adulthodd have a significant impact on adult criminality. These findings suggest that the legitimate social interactions associated with work have a greater effect on criminal behaviour than does the higher income associated with employment and educational attainment.

Suggested Citation

  • Jenny Williams, 1998. "Property Crime: Just a Risky Occupation? Exploring the Issue with a Birth Cohort," School of Economics Working Papers 1998-14, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:adl:wpaper:1998-14

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    crimes; education; social influence;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law


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