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Gender crime convergence over twenty years: evidence from Australia

Beatton, Tony, Kidd, Michael P. and Machin, Stephen (2018) Gender crime convergence over twenty years: evidence from Australia. European Economic Review, 109. pp. 275-288. ISSN 0014-2921

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2018.01.001


Historically men have been responsible for the majority of criminal activity and dominate prison populations around the globe. The twentieth century witnessed significant male–female convergence in a myriad of positive dimensions including human capital acquisition, labour force participation and wages. This has prompted the question, to what extent are women ‘looking more like men’? In this paper we examine whether similar forces are at play in the context of criminality. We study the pattern of gender convergence in crime using rich administrative data on the population of young people in Queensland, Australia. The evidence points to a significant narrowing of the gender gap in criminal activity over the course of the last twenty years. Crime convergence occurs for broad aggregates of both property and violent crime, as well as for almost all sub-component categories. Convergence occurs largely because crime has fallen significantly for men, combined with no downward trend for women. This is confirmed by aggregate analysis of rates of offending in police force districts matched to Census data by gender between 2001 and 2016

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 Elsevier © CC-BY-NC-ND
Divisions: Economics
Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
JEL classification: I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I2 - Education
K - Law and Economics > K4 - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior > K42 - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2018 15:51
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 01:24

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