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Work and Crime: An Exploration Using Panel Data

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  • Ann Dryden Witte
  • Helen Tauchen

Abstract

In this paper we explore the relationship between crime and work using data for a cohort sample of young men. We find that working and going to school significantly decrease the probability of committing criminal acts and by virtually identical amounts. Parochial school education and higher IQ are also significantly associated with lower criminal proclivities, but a high school degree has no significant effect. These findings, in conjunction with other research, suggest that participation in legitimate activities (employment or school) per se has a greater effect on criminal behavior than does the higher income associated with employment or educational attainment.

Suggested Citation

  • Ann Dryden Witte & Helen Tauchen, 1994. "Work and Crime: An Exploration Using Panel Data," NBER Working Papers 4794, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4794
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Akerlof, George A & Dickens, William T, 1982. "The Economic Consequences of Cognitive Dissonance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 307-319, June.
    2. W. Kip Viscusi, 1986. "Market Incentives for Criminal Behavior," NBER Chapters,in: The Black Youth Employment Crisis, pages 301-351 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Ann Dryden Witte, 1980. "Estimating the Economic Model of Crime With Individual Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(1), pages 57-84.
    4. Tauchen, Helen V & Witte, Ann Dryden & Long, Sharon K, 1991. "Domestic Violence: A Nonrandom Affair," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(2), pages 491-511, May.
    5. Becker, Gary S, 1992. "Habits, Addictions, and Traditions," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(3), pages 327-345.
    6. Helen V. Tauchen & Ann Dryden Witte & Sharon K. Long, 1985. "Domestic Violence: A Non-random Affair," NBER Working Papers 1665, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Cook, Philip J., 1979. "The clearance rate as a measure of criminal justice system effectiveness," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 135-142, February.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor

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