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Crime scars: recessions and the making of career criminals

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  • Bell, Brian
  • Bindler, Anna
  • Machin, Stephen

Abstract

Recessions lead to short-term job loss, lower happiness, and decreasing income levels. There is growing evidence that workers who first join the labor market during economic downturns suffer from poor job matches that can have sustained detrimental effects on wages and career progressions. This paper uses U.S. and U.K. data to document a more disturbing long-run effect of recessions: young people who leave school during recessions are significantly more likely to lead a life of crime than those entering a buoyant labor market. Thus, crime scars resulting from higher entry-level unemployment rates prove to be long lasting and substantial.

Suggested Citation

  • Bell, Brian & Bindler, Anna & Machin, Stephen, 2018. "Crime scars: recessions and the making of career criminals," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 89715, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:89715
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Couttenier, Mathieu & Preotu, Veronica & Rohner, Dominic & Thoenig, Mathias, 2016. "The Violent Legacy of Victimization: Post-Conflict Evidence on Asylum Seekers, Crimes and Public Policy in Switzerland," CEPR Discussion Papers 11079, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Maria Micaela Sviatschi, 2018. "Making a Narco: Childhood Exposure to Illegal Labor Markets and Criminal Life Paths," Working Papers 2018-03, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
    3. Sebastian Galiani & Laura Jaitman & Federico Weinschelbaum, 2016. "Crime and Durable Goods," NBER Working Papers 22788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Bell, Brian & Costa, Rui & Machin, Stephen, 2015. "Crime, compulsory schooling laws and education," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 64968, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. Deiana, C, 2016. "Local Labour Market Effects of Unemployment on Crime Induced by Trade Shocks," Economics Discussion Papers 16529, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    6. Steve Machin & Sandra McNally & Jenifer Ruiz-Valenzuela, 2018. "Entry Through the Narrow Door: The Costs of Just Failing High Stakes Exams," CESifo Working Paper Series 7008, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. repec:eee:irlaec:v:57:y:2019:i:c:p:12-21 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Marco Caliendo & Ricarda Schmidl, 2016. "Youth unemployment and active labor market policies in Europe," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-30, December.
    9. Lastauskas, Povilas & Tatsi, Eirini, 2017. "Spatial Nexus in Crime and Unemployment in Times of Crisis," Working Paper Series 2/2017, Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
    10. Bell, Brian & Costa, Rui & Machin, Stephen, 2018. "Why Does Education Reduce Crime?," CEPR Discussion Papers 13162, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Draca, Mirko & Koutmeridis, Theodore & Machin, Stephen, 2015. "The Changing Returns to Crime: Do Criminals Respond to Prices?," IZA Discussion Papers 9109, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Kevin T. Schnepel, 2018. "Good Jobs and Recidivism," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(608), pages 447-469, February.
    13. Bennett, Patrick & Ouazad, Amine, 2018. "Job Displacement, Unemployment, and Crime: Evidence from Danish Microdata and Reforms," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 32/2018, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics, revised 21 Dec 2018.
    14. repec:eee:labeco:v:52:y:2018:i:c:p:231-244 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Torben Tranaes, 2015. "Active labor market policies and crime," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 185-185, September.
    16. Bindler, Anna, 2016. "Still unemployed, what next? Crime and unemployment duration," Working Papers in Economics 660, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    17. repec:eee:labeco:v:52:y:2018:i:c:p:263-286 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. repec:cep:cverdp:014 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Costa, Rui & Machin, Stephen, 2016. "Crime, compulsory schooling laws and educationAuthor-Name: Bell, Brian," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 214-226.
    20. Jonathan Cribb & Andrew Hood & Robert Joyce, 2017. "Entering the labour market in a weak economy: scarring and insurance," IFS Working Papers W17/27, Institute for Fiscal Studies.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Crime; Recessions; Unemployment;

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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