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Education, Work, and Crime: A Human Capital Approach

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  • Lance Lochner

Abstract

This paper develops a model of crime in which human capital increases the opportunity cost of crime from foregone work and expected costs associated with incarceration. Older, more intelligent, and more educated adults should commit fewer street (unskilled) crimes. White collar crimes decline less (or increase) with age and education. Predictions for age-crime and education-crime relationships receive broad empirical support in self-report data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and arrest data from the Uniform Crime Reports. The effects of education, training, and wage subsidies, as well as enforcement policies on criminal behavior are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Lance Lochner, 2004. "Education, Work, and Crime: A Human Capital Approach," NBER Working Papers 10478, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10478
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    JEL classification:

    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior

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