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Education, Work, and Crime: Theory and Evidence

Author

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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.
    2. Steven D. Levitt, 1998. "Juvenile Crime and Punishment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1156-1185, December.
    3. John Cawley & Karen Conneely & James Heckman & Edward Vytlacil, 1996. "Cognitive Ability, Wages, and Meritocracy," NBER Working Papers 5645, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. John Bound & Richard B. Freeman, 1992. "What Went Wrong? The Erosion of Relative Earnings and Employment Among Young Black Men in the 1980s," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 201-232.
    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. Lance Lochner, 2007. "Individual Perceptions of the Criminal Justice System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 444-460, March.
    7. Dan Usher, 1997. "Education as a Deterrent to Crime," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 30(2), pages 367-384, May.
    8. Tauchen, Helen & Witte, Ann Dryden & Griesinger, Harriet, 1994. "Criminal Deterrence: Revisiting the Issue with a Birth Cohort," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(3), pages 399-412, August.
    9. Donohue, John J, III & Siegelman, Peter, 1998. "Allocating Resources among Prisons and Social Programs in the Battle against Crime," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 1-43, January.
    10. James Heckman & Lance Lochner & Christopher Taber, 1998. "Explaining Rising Wage Inequality: Explanations With A Dynamic General Equilibrium Model of Labor Earnings With Heterogeneous Agents," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(1), pages 1-58, January.
    11. Richard B. Freeman, 1996. "Why Do So Many Young American Men Commit Crimes and What Might We Do about It?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 25-42, Winter.
    12. Grogger, Jeff, 1998. "Market Wages and Youth Crime," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(4), pages 756-791, October.
    13. Mustard, David B, 2001. "Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Disparities in Sentencing: Evidence from the U.S. Federal Courts," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(1), pages 285-314, April.
    14. Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "Crime and the Employment of Disadvantaged Youths," NBER Working Papers 3875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Casey B. Mulligan, 1999. "Substition over Time: Another Look at Life-Cycle Labor Supply," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1998, volume 13, pages 75-152 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J., 2003. "Human Capital Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 821, Institute for the Study of Labor (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: 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 & Deller, Melissa, 2005. "Shifting Patterns in Wisconsin Crime Rates," Staff Paper Series 491, University of Wisconsin, 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.
    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. Ian Irvine & Kuan Xu, 2002. "Crime, Punishment and Poverty in the United States," Department of Economics at Dalhousie University working papers archive uspov, Dalhousie, Department of Economics.
    17. 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.
    18. Edward L. Glaeser & Albert Saiz, 2003. "The rise of the skilled city," Working Papers 04-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    19. 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.
    20. 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.
    21. 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.
    22. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    EDUCATION ; CRIMES ; WORK;

    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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