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

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Abstract

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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  • Taryn Ann Galloway & Stephen Pudney, 2011. "Initiation into crime: An analysis of Norwegian register data on five birth cohorts," Discussion Papers 655, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:655
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. James Heckman & Flavio Cunha, 2007. "The Technology of Skill Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 31-47, May.
    3. Reilly, Barry & Witt, Robert, 1996. "Crime, Deterrence and Unemployment in England and Wales: An Empirical Analysis," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(2), pages 137-159, April.
    4. 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).
    5. Lance Lochner, 2004. "Education, Work, And Crime: A Human Capital Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(3), pages 811-843, August.
    6. 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.
    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. Ehrlich, Isaac, 1973. "Participation in Illegitimate Activities: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 521-565, May-June.
    9. Knut R¯ed & Oddbj¯rn Raaum, 2003. "Administrative registers - Unexplored reservoirs of Scientific Knowledge?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(488), pages 258-281, June.
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    Keywords

    Norway; Crime; Family; Cognitive ability; Register data;

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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