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Workplace Deviance and the Business Cycle


  • Aniruddha Bagchi
  • Siddharth Bandyopadhyay


We examine the relationship between the incidence of workplace deviance (on-the-job crime) and the business cycle. A worker's probability of future employment depends on whether she has been deviant as well as on the availabilty of jobs. Using a two period model we show that the net impact on deviant behaviour to changes in unemployment is ambiguous and depends on the strength of two effects. If the probability of being employed for a non-deviant improves as expected market conditions improve, then that lowers deviant behaviour, while if the deviant's probability of being employed improves as market conditions improve, that increases deviance as market conditions improve. In either case, there is a setup cost to deviant behaviour and the attractiveness of incurring that increases with an increase in expected probability of future employment. This second effect therefore increases the incentive to be deviant and thus can reinforce the first effect or weaken it. Finally, we show that an increase in optimism i.e. the probability of facing a recession going down unambiguously increases deviant behaviour.

Suggested Citation

  • Aniruddha Bagchi & Siddharth Bandyopadhyay, 2011. "Workplace Deviance and the Business Cycle," Discussion Papers 11-06, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  • Handle: RePEc:bir:birmec:11-06

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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Crime on the job and the business cycle
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2011-04-19 19:43:00


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    Cited by:

    1. Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay & Samrat Bhattacharya & Rudra Sensarma, 2015. "An analysis of the factors determining crime in England and Wales: A quantile regression approach," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(1), pages 665-679.
    2. Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay & Samrat Bhattacharya & Marianna Koli & Rudra Sensarma, 2012. "Acquisitive Crime, Sentencing and Detection: An Analysis of England and Wales," Discussion Papers 12-09, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.

    More about this item


    Crime; Business Cycle; Dynamic Deterrence;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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