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Crime scars: recessions and the making of career criminals

Bell, Brian, Bindler, Anna and Machin, Stephen (2018) Crime scars: recessions and the making of career criminals. Review of Economics and Statistics, 100 (3). pp. 392-404. ISSN 0034-6535

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Identification Number: 10.1162/rest_a_00698


Recessions lead to short-term job loss, lower happiness, and decreasing income levels. There is growing evidence that workers who first join the labor market during economic downturns suffer from poor job matches that can have sustained detrimental effects on wages and career progressions. This paper uses U.S. and U.K. data to document a more disturbing long-run effect of recessions: young people who leave school during recessions are significantly more likely to lead a life of crime than those entering a buoyant labor market. Thus, crime scars resulting from higher entry-level unemployment rates prove to be long lasting and substantial.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Divisions: Economics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
JEL classification: J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J6 - Mobility, Unemployment, and Vacancies > J64 - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
K - Law and Economics > K4 - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior > K42 - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2018 15:33
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2024 20:45
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council

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