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The Transition from School to Jail: Youth Crime and High School Completion Among Black Males

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  • Antonio Merlo

    () (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

  • Kenneth I. Wolpin

    () (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

In this paper, we propose a new approach to the empirical study of the relationships among schooling, youth employment and youth crime which provides a comprehensive analysis of the dynamic interactions among these choices and exposure to the criminal justice system. The empirical framework takes the form of a multinomial discrete choice vector autoregression of a youth’s schooling, work and crime decisions as well as arrest and incarceration outcomes. We allow for observable initial conditions, unobserved heterogeneity, the possibility of measurement error and for missing data. We use data from the NLSY97 on black male youths starting from age 14. The estimates indicate an important role for heterogeneity in initial conditions. We also find that stochastic events that arise during one’s youth can be important in determining outcomes as young adults.

Suggested Citation

  • Antonio Merlo & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2008. "The Transition from School to Jail: Youth Crime and High School Completion Among Black Males," PIER Working Paper Archive 08-033, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:08-033
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Lance Lochner, 2010. "Education Policy and Crime," NBER Chapters,in: Controlling Crime: Strategies and Tradeoffs, pages 465-515 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Ham, John C. & Woutersen, Tiemen, 2011. "Calculating Confidence Intervals for Continuous and Discontinuous Functions of Estimated Parameters," IZA Discussion Papers 5816, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Mancino, Maria Antonella & Navarro, Salvador & Rivers, David A., 2016. "Separating state dependence, experience, and heterogeneity in a model of youth crime and education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 274-305.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    crime; schooling; work; VAR;

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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