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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. Harbaugh, William T. & Mocan, Naci & Visser, Michael S., 2011. "Theft and Deterrence," IZA Discussion Papers 5813, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Schurer, Stefanie, 2012. "The stability of big-five personality traits," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 11-15.
  3. 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.
  4. Anke Becker & Thomas Deckers & Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & Fabian Kosse, 2012. "The Relationship between Economic Preferences and Psychological Personality Measures," CESifo Working Paper Series 3785, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Hörisch, Hannah & Strassmair, Christina, 2008. "An experimental test of the deterrence hypothesis," Discussion Papers in Economics 2139, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  7. 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.
  8. Borghans, Lex & Duckworth, Angela Lee & Heckman, James J. & Weel, Bas ter, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," MERIT Working Papers 010, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  9. 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.
  10. Traxler, Christian & Winter, Joachim, 2012. "Survey evidence on conditional norm enforcement," Munich Reprints in Economics 19645, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  11. James J. Heckman, 2011. "Integrating Personality Psychology into Economics," NBER Working Papers 17378, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Tim Friehe & Hannah Schildberg-Hörisch, 2014. "Crime and Self-Control Revisited: Disentangling the Effect of Self-Control on Risk and Social Preferences," CESifo Working Paper Series 4747, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. Jean-Robert Tyran & Lars P. Feld, 2005. "Achieving Compliance when Legal Sanctions are Non-Deterrent," CREMA Working Paper Series 2005-17, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  14. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  15. 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.
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