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Initiation into crime: An analysis of Norwegian register data on five birth cohorts

We construct linked register data on five Norwegian birth cohorts, covering: criminal charges after age 15; family characteristics and history up to age 15; and (for males) IQ test scores. A longitudinal analysis of the risk of initiation into crime in early adulthood suggests an increased risk for the children of young and unmarried mothers and for those experiencing disruptive family events including divorce or maternal death during childhood. There is a relationship between continuity of parental employment and reduced risk, with no evidence of harm from mothers' employment. Cognitive ability remains strongly associated with reduced risk after allowing for family history and circumstances.

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Paper provided by Research Department of Statistics Norway in its series Discussion Papers with number 655.

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Date of creation: May 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:655
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  1. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
  2. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro & Flavio Cunha, 2004. "The Technology of Skill Formation," 2004 Meeting Papers 681, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Reilly, Barry & Robert Witt, 1992. "Crime, deterrence and unemployment in England and Wales: an empirical analysis," Discussion Papers in Economics 12/92, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
  5. Lance Lochner, 2004. "Education, Work, and Crime: A Human Capital Approach," NBER Working Papers 10478, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Knut R¯ed & Oddbj¯rn Raaum, 2003. "Administrative registers - Unexplored reservoirs of Scientific Knowledge?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(488), pages F258-F281, 06.
  7. Carmichael, Fiona & Ward, Robert, 2001. "Male unemployment and crime in England and Wales," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 111-115, October.
  8. Burks, Stephen V. & Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Götte, Lorenz & Rustichini, Aldo, 2008. "Cognitive Skills Explain Economic Preferences, Strategic Behavior, and Job Attachment," IZA Discussion Papers 3609, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Ehrlich, Isaac, 1973. "Participation in Illegitimate Activities: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 521-65, May-June.
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