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Are Gangs an Alternative to Legitimate Employment? Investigating the Impact of Labor Market Effects on Gang Affiliation

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  • R. Alan Seals

Abstract

This paper adds to the literature estimates of local labor market effects on gang participation. I use data from the 1997 cohort of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY97) to model the probability of gang involvement. The effect of the local unemployment rate is statistically significant and positive, across a wide-range of model specifications. However, robustness checks reveal gang participation of individuals less than sixteen years-of-age (the legal minimum age for most jobs) is not responsive to the local unemployment rate. Gang participation among individuals with lower ASVAB scores is more sensitive to the local unemployment rate.

Suggested Citation

  • R. Alan Seals, 2007. "Are Gangs an Alternative to Legitimate Employment? Investigating the Impact of Labor Market Effects on Gang Affiliation," Working Papers 200711, Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Economics and Finance.
  • Handle: RePEc:mts:wpaper:200711
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    File URL: http://capone.mtsu.edu/berc/working/Gangs_and_Unemployment-Seals2007.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    gang participation; NLSY; intelligence; unemployment;

    JEL classification:

    • J00 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - General
    • J19 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Other

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