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Economic Uncertainty, Parental Selection, and the Criminal Activity of the "Children of the Wall"

  • Arnaud Chevalier
  • Olivier Marie

We study the link between parental selection and children criminality in a new context. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, East Germany experienced an unprecedented temporary drop in fertility driven by economic uncertainty. We exploit this natural experiment to estimate that the children from these (smaller) cohorts are 40 percent more likely to commit crimes. We show that women who gave birth at this period were negatively selected. Investigation of the underlying mechanisms reveals that emotional attachment and risk attitudes play important roles in the fertility-crime relationship. Finally, results for siblings support a causal interpretation of our findings.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.432424.de/diw_sp0605.pdf
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Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 605.

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Length: 44 p.
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp605
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  9. Charles, Kerwin Kofi & Stephens, Melvin, Jr, 2006. "Abortion Legalization and Adolescent Substance Use," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 481-505, October.
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  14. John J. Donohue & Steven D. Levitt, 2001. "The Impact Of Legalized Abortion On Crime," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 379-420, May.
  15. Sumon Kumar Bhaumik & Jeffrey Nugent, 2011. "Real options and demographic decisions: empirical evidence from East and West Germany," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(21), pages 2739-2749.
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