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The Origins of Intergenerational Associations in Crime: Lessons from Swedish Adoption Data

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  • Hjalmarsson, Randi

    (Queen Mary, U. of London, School of Economics and Finance)

  • Lindquist, Matthew J.

    (Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University)

Abstract

We use Swedish adoption data combined with police register data to study parent-son associations in crime. For adopted sons born in Sweden, we have access to the criminal records of both the adopting and biological parents. This allows us to assess the relative importance of pre-birth factors (genes, prenatal environment and perinatal conditions) and post-birth factors for generating parent-son associations in crime. When considering the extensive margin, we find that pre-birth and post-birth factors are both important determinants of sons’ convictions and that mothers and fathers contribute equally through these two channels. At the intensive margin, pre-birth factors still matter, however post-birth factors appear to dominate. In particular, adopting mothers appear to matter most for the probability that sons will be convicted of multiple crimes and/or be sentenced to prison. We find little evidence of interaction effects between biological and adoptive parents’ criminal convictions. Having more highly educated adoptive parents, however, does appear to mitigate the impact of biological parents’ criminality.

Suggested Citation

  • Hjalmarsson, Randi & Lindquist, Matthew J., 2011. "The Origins of Intergenerational Associations in Crime: Lessons from Swedish Adoption Data," Working Paper Series 11/2011, Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:sofiwp:2011_011
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    1. Haciéndome el Sueco (por Unos Buenos Datos)
      by Vicente Cuñat in Nada Es Gratis on 2014-11-10 10:00:23

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    Cited by:

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    2. E. Black , Sandra & Devereux, Paul & Lundborg, Petter & Majlesi, Kaveh, 2015. "Poor Little Rich Kids? The Determinants of the Intergenerational Transmission of Wealth," Knut Wicksell Working Paper Series 2015/6, Lund University, Knut Wicksell Centre for Financial Studies.
    3. Costas Meghir & Mårten Palme & Marieke Schnabel, 2011. "The effect of education policy on crime: an intergenerational perspective," IFS Working Papers W11/11, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    4. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Petter Lundborg & Kaveh Majlesi, 2017. "On the Origins of Risk-Taking in Financial Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 72(5), pages 2229-2278, October.
    5. Karin Hederos Eriksson & Randi Hjalmarsson & Matthew J. Lindquist & Anna Sandberg, 2016. "The importance of family background and neighborhood effects as determinants of crime," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(1), pages 219-262, January.
    6. Lindquist, Matthew J. & Zenou, Yves, 2019. "Crime and Networks: 10 Policy Lessons," IZA Discussion Papers 12534, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Sandra E Black & Paul J Devereux & Petter Lundborg & Kaveh Majlesi, 2020. "Poor Little Rich Kids? The Role of Nature versus Nurture in Wealth and Other Economic Outcomes and Behaviours," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(4), pages 1683-1725.
    8. Gaurav Khanna & Carlos Medina & Anant Nyshadham & Christian Posso & Jorge Tamayo, 2021. "Job Loss, Credit, and Crime in Colombia," American Economic Review: Insights, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 97-114, March.
    9. Matthew J. Lindquist & Joeri Sol & Mirjam Van Praag, 2015. "Why Do Entrepreneurial Parents Have Entrepreneurial Children?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 269-296.
    10. Rud, Iryna & Van Klaveren, Chris & Groot, Wim & Maassen van den Brink, Henriëtte, 2014. "The externalities of crime: The effect of criminal involvement of parents on the educational attainment of their children," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 89-103.
    11. Grönqvist, Hans & Niknami, Susan, 2014. "Alcohol availability and crime: Lessons from liberalized weekend sales restrictions," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 77-84.
    12. Björkegren, Evelina & Lindahl, Mikael & Palme, Mårten & Simeonova, Emilia, 2019. "Pre- and Post-Birth Components of Intergenerational Persistence in Health and Longevity: Lessons from a Large Sample of Adoptees," Working Papers in Economics 770, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    13. Mohammad H. Sepahvand & Roujman Shahbazian, 2021. "Intergenerational transmission of risk attitudes in Burkina Faso," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 61(1), pages 503-527, July.
    14. Thompson, Owen, 2014. "Genetic mechanisms in the intergenerational transmission of health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 132-146.
    15. Petter Lundborg & Martin Nordin & Dan Olof Rooth, 2018. "The intergenerational transmission of human capital: the role of skills and health," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 31(4), pages 1035-1065, October.
    16. Bethencourt, Carlos & Kunze, Lars, 2014. "On the intergenerational nature of criminal behavior," MPRA Paper 58344, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Randi Hjalmarsson & Matthew J. Lindquist, 2012. "Like Godfather, Like Son: Exploring the Intergenerational Nature of Crime," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(2), pages 550-582.
    18. Bennett, Patrick, 2018. "The heterogeneous effects of education on crime: Evidence from Danish administrative twin data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 160-177.
    19. van Ginkel, Joost R. & Juffer, Femmie & Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marian J. & van IJzendoorn, Marinus H., 2018. "Young offenders caught in the act: A population-based cohort study comparing internationally adopted and non-adopted adolescents," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 32-41.
    20. Lundborg, Petter & Nordin, Martin & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2011. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital: Exploring the Role of Skills and Health Using Data on Adoptees and Twins," IZA Discussion Papers 6099, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    21. Bezin, Emeline & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2018. "Crime, Broken Families, and Punishment," CEPR Discussion Papers 13014, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    22. Hjalmarsson, Randi & Lindquist, Matthew J., 2018. "Labour economics and crime," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 147-148.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    adoption; crime; illegal behavior; intergenerational crime; intergenerational mobility; risky behavior.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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