Economic Uncertainty, Parental Selection, and the Criminal Activity of the 'Children of the Wall'

45 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2013  

Arnaud Chevalier

University of London - Royal Holloway College

Olivier E. Marie

Maastricht University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 31, 2013

Abstract

We study the link between parental selection and children criminality in a new context. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, East Germany experienced an unprecedented temporary drop in fertility driven by economic uncertainty. We exploit this natural experiment to estimate that the children from these (smaller) cohorts are 40 percent more likely to commit crimes. We show that women who gave birth at this period were negatively selected. Investigation of the underlying mechanisms reveals that emotional attachment and risk attitudes play important roles in the fertility-crime relationship. Finally, results for siblings support a causal interpretation of our findings.

Keywords: crime, parental selection, fertility decision, economic uncertainty, risk attitude

JEL Classification: J130, K420

Suggested Citation

Chevalier, Arnaud and Marie, Olivier E., Economic Uncertainty, Parental Selection, and the Criminal Activity of the 'Children of the Wall' (October 31, 2013). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 4462. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2353311

Arnaud Chevalier

University of London - Royal Holloway College ( email )

Senate House
Malet Street
London, TW20 0EX
United Kingdom

Olivier E. Marie (Contact Author)

Maastricht University ( email )

Maastricht
Netherlands

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