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Education, Work, and Crime: Theory and Evidence

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  • Lochner, L.

Abstract

This paper develops and empirically examines a dynamic model of decisions to work, invest in human capital, and commit crime. By making all three activities endogenous, the model makes a number of new and interesting contributions to the study of crime. First, the model explains why older, more intelligent, and more educated workers tend to commit less of some property crimes than others. Second, the model is useful for analyzing the impacts of education, training, and work subsidies on criminal behavior. Third, unobserved age differences in on-the-job skill investment explain why wages and crime are more negatively correlated at older ages. Fourth, the model predicts a rise in youth crime should accompany the recent rise in returns to skills. Finally, the model suggests that law enforcement policies increase education, training and labor supply, while reducing criminal activity.

Suggested Citation

  • Lochner, L., 1999. "Education, Work, and Crime: Theory and Evidence," RCER Working Papers 465, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  • Handle: RePEc:roc:rocher:465
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    File URL: http://rcer.econ.rochester.edu/RCERPAPERS/rcer_465.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Heckman, James J & Lochner, Lance & Taber, Christopher, 1998. "Tax Policy and Human-Capital Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 293-297, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J., 2003. "Human Capital Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 821, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Susumu Imai & Kala Krishna, 2001. "Employment, Dynamic Deterrence and Crime," NBER Working Papers 8281, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Michele Caputo & Francesco Forte & Michela Mantovani, 2014. "Long-run and shorter-run criminal cycles in the public economics of public bads," Chapters, in: Francesco Forte & Ram Mudambi & Pietro Maria Navarra (ed.), A Handbook of Alternative Theories of Public Economics, chapter 22, pages 503-542, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Antoni Calvó-Armengol & Yves Zenou, 2004. "Social Networks And Crime Decisions: The Role Of Social Structure In Facilitating Delinquent Behavior," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(3), pages 939-958, August.
    5. Paolo Buonanno, 2006. "Crime, Education and Peer Pressure," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 96(5), pages 89-110, September.
    6. Deller, Steven C. & Deller, Melissa, 2005. "Shifting Patterns in Wisconsin Crime Rates," Staff Papers 12627, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics.
    7. Jim Davies, "undated". "Empirical Evidence on Human Capital Externalities," Working Papers-Department of Finance Canada 2003-11, Department of Finance Canada.
    8. Brian Jacob & Lars Lefgren & Enrico Moretti, 2007. "The Dynamics of Criminal Behavior: Evidence from Weather Shocks," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(3).
    9. Colm Harmon & Hessel Oosterbeek & Ian Walker, 2000. "The returns to education : a review of evidence, issues and deficiencies in the literature," Open Access publications 10197/670, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    10. Andrew W. Horowitz & Julie R. Trivitt, 2007. "Does Child Labor Reduce Youth Crime?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(4), pages 559-573, November.
    11. Steven C. Deller & Melissa A. Deller, 2010. "Rural Crime and Social Capital," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 221-275, June.
    12. Paolo Buonanno, 2003. "The Socioeconomic Determinants of Crime. A Review of the Literature," Working Papers 63, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2003.
    13. John P. Conley & Ping Wang, 2004. "Crime, Ethics and Occupational Choice: Endogenous Sorting in a Closed Model," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0402, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    14. H. Naci Mocan & Stephen C. Billups & Jody Overland, 2005. "A Dynamic Model of Differential Human Capital and Criminal Activity," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 72(288), pages 655-681, November.
    15. Francesco Forte & Ram Mudambi & Pietro Maria Navarra (ed.), 2014. "A Handbook of Alternative Theories of Public Economics," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 14898.
    16. Steven D. Levitt & Lance Lochner, 2001. "The Determinants of Juvenile Crime," NBER Chapters, in: Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis, pages 327-374, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Edward L. Glaeser & Albert Saiz, 2003. "The rise of the skilled city," Working Papers 04-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    18. Thomas J. Miles, 2004. "Felon Disenfranchisement and Voter Turnout," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 85-129, January.
    19. Cerro, Ana María & Rodríguez Andrés, Antonio, 2010. "The Effect of Crime on the Job Market: An ARDL approach to Argentina," MPRA Paper 44457, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Edna Maria Villarreal Peralta, 2011. "Rendimientos sociales de la educación en México 2005-2010," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 6, in: Antonio Caparrós Ruiz (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 6, edition 1, volume 6, chapter 55, pages 898-916, Asociación de Economía de la Educación.
    21. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2003. "Are Idle Hands the Devil's Workshop? Incapacitation, Concentration, and Juvenile Crime," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1560-1577, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    EDUCATION ; CRIMES ; WORK;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • D00 - Microeconomics - - General - - - General

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