Impatience, Reputation and Offending

Publication Type: Journal

Commissioned by: Applied Economics, 2010 (published online 15 September 2010)

Principal Investigator/lead organisation: Bowles R A & C Florackis

Reconviction rates for offenders are high despite sentence severity increasing with the number of convictions. The standard one-shot model of crime provides little scope for exploring "persistence effects", although recent papers by Emons and others have sought to put o¤ending decisions into a more dynamic setting. This paper develops a simple two-period model of offending in which criminal convictions act as an adverse signal in labour markets. Ordinary and multinomial logistic regression modelling is used to test the predictions of the theoretical model and explore the link between unemployment and convictions. The empirical results, which are based on longitudinal data from the National Child Development Study in the UK, strongly support the view that, ceteris paribus, individuals with previous convictions are at higher risk of being unemployed.

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