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The Individual and Joint Performance of Economic Preferences, Personality, and Self-Control in Predicting Criminal Behavior

  • Friehe, Tim

    ()

    (University of Bonn)

  • Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah

    ()

    (University of Bonn)

We explore the individual and joint explanatory power of concepts from economics, psychology, and criminology for criminal behavior. More precisely, we consider risk and time preferences, personality traits from psychology (Big Five and locus of control), and a self-control scale from criminology. We find that economic preferences, personality traits, and self-control complement each other in predicting criminal behavior. The most significant predictors stem from all three disciplines: risk aversion, conscientiousness, and high self-control make criminal behavior less likely. Our results illustrate that integrating concepts from various disciplines enhances our understanding of individual behavior.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7894.

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Length: 14 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7894
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  1. Lex Borghans & Angela Lee Duckworth & James J. Heckman & Bas ter Weel, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
  2. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  3. Jean-Robert Tyran & Lars P. Feld, 2006. "Achieving Compliance when Legal Sanctions are Non-deterrent," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(1), pages 135-156, 03.
  4. Mathilde Almlund & Angela Lee Duckworth & James J. Heckman & Tim D. Kautz, 2011. "Personality Psychology and Economics," NBER Working Papers 16822, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Hannah Schildberg-Hörisch & Christina Strassmair, 2012. "An Experimental Test of the Deterrence Hypothesis," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(3), pages 447-459, August.
  6. Christine Henle & Charlie Reeve & Virginia Pitts, 2010. "Stealing Time at Work: Attitudes, Social Pressure, and Perceived Control as Predictors of Time Theft," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 94(1), pages 53-67, June.
  7. William T. Harbaugh & Naci H. Mocan & Michael S. Visser, 2011. "Theft and Deterrence," NBER Working Papers 17059, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Deborah Cobb-Clark & Stefanie Schurer, 2011. "The Stability of Big-Five Personality Traits," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2011n21, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  9. Anderson, David A, 1999. "The Aggregate Burden of Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(2), pages 611-42, October.
  10. Becker, Anke & Deckers, Thomas & Dohmen, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Kosse, Fabian, 2012. "The Relationship Between Economic Preferences and Psychological Personality Measures," IZA Discussion Papers 6470, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Christian Traxler & Joachim Winter, 2009. "Survey Evidence on Conditional Norm Enforcement," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2009_03, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  12. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  13. Heckman, James J., 2011. "Integrating Personality Psychology into Economics," IZA Discussion Papers 5950, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Davis, Michael L, 1988. "Time and Punishment: An Intertemporal Model of Crime," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 383-90, April.
  15. Friehe, Tim & Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah, 2014. "Crime and Self-Control Revisited: Disentangling the Effect of Self-Control on Risk and Social Preferences," IZA Discussion Papers 8109, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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