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Employment, Dynamic Deterrence and Crime

  • Imai, Susumu

    (Pennsylvania State U)

  • Krishna, Kala

Using monthly panel data we solve and estimate, using maximum likelihood techniques, an explicitly dynamic model of criminal behavior where current criminal activity adversely affects future employment outcomes. This acts as dynamic deterrence to crime: the threat of future adverse effects on employment payoffs when caught committing crimes reduces the incentive to commit them. We show that this dynamic deterrence effect is strong in the data. Hence, policies which weaken dynamic deterrence will be less effective in fighting crime. This suggests that prevention is more powerful than redemption since the latter weakens dynamic deterrence as anticipated future redemption allows criminals to look forward to negating the consequences of their crimes. Static models of criminal behavior neglect this and hence sole reliance on them can result in misleading policy analysis.

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File URL: http://econ.la.psu.edu/papers/kk-crime.pdf
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Paper provided by Pennsylvania State University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1-01-2.

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Date of creation: Jan 2001
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:peneco:1-01-2
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  1. Richard B. Freeman, 1996. "Why Do So Many Young American Men Commit Crimes and What Might We Do about It?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 25-42, Winter.
  2. Tauchen, Helen & Witte, Ann Dryden & Griesinger, Harriet, 1994. "Criminal Deterrence: Revisiting the Issue with a Birth Cohort," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(3), pages 399-412, August.
  3. Keane, Michael P & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1997. "The Career Decisions of Young Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(3), pages 473-522, June.
  4. Steven D. Levitt, 1997. "Juvenile Crime and Punishment," NBER Working Papers 6191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Grogger, Jeff, 1998. "Market Wages and Youth Crime," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(4), pages 756-91, October.
  6. Ayse Imrohoroglu & Antonio Merlo & Peter Rupert, 2004. "What Accounts For The Decline In Crime?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(3), pages 707-729, 08.
  7. Jenny Williams & Robin C. Sickles, 1998. "Intertemporal Model of Rational Criminal Choice," School of Economics Working Papers 1998-03, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
  8. Lance Lochner, 2007. "Individual Perceptions of the Criminal Justice System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 444-460, March.
  9. Glaeser, Edward L & Sacerdote, Bruce & Scheinkman, Jose A, 1996. "Crime and Social Interactions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 507-48, May.
  10. Zvi Eckstein & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1999. "Why Youths Drop Out of High School: The Impact of Preferences, Opportunities, and Abilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(6), pages 1295-1340, November.
  11. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  12. Jenny Williams, 2000. "An Intertemporal Model of Rational Criminal Choice," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1336, Econometric Society.
  13. Helen V. Tauchen & Ann Dryden Witte & Harriet Griesinger, 1988. "Deterrence, Work and Crime: Revisiting the Issues with Birth Cohort Data," NBER Working Papers 2508, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. repec:att:wimass:9429 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Lochner, L., 1999. "Education, Work, and Crime: Theory and Evidence," RCER Working Papers 465, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  16. John Rust, 1997. "Using Randomization to Break the Curse of Dimensionality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 487-516, May.
  17. Leung, S.F., 1992. "An Economic Analsysis of the Age-Crime Profile," RCER Working Papers 321, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  18. Steven D. Levitt, 1995. "The Effect of Prison Population Size on Crime Rates: Evidence From Prison Overcrowding Litigation," NBER Working Papers 5119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Rust, John, 1987. "Optimal Replacement of GMC Bus Engines: An Empirical Model of Harold Zurcher," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(5), pages 999-1033, September.
  20. Joel Waldfogel, 1994. " The Effect of Criminal Conviction on Income and the Trust "Reposed in the Workmen"," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(1), pages 62-81.
  21. Grogger, Jeffrey, 1995. "The Effect of Arrests on the Employment and Earnings of Young Men," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(1), pages 51-71, February.
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