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Work and Crime: An Exploration Using Panel Data

  • Ann Dryden Witte
  • Helen Tauchen
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    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.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w4794.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4794.

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    Date of creation: Jul 1994
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    Publication status: published as Public Finance, vol 49 (1994) pp 155-167
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4794
    Note: LS
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
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    1. Witte, Ann Dryden, 1980. "Estimating the Economic Model of Crime with Individual Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 57-84, February.
    2. Akerlof, George A & Dickens, William T, 1982. "The Economic Consequences of Cognitive Dissonance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 307-19, June.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Becker, G.S., 1991. "Habits, Addictions, and Traditions," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 91-8, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
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