Crime Scars: Recessions and the Making of Career Criminals

50 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2014

See all articles by Brian Bell

Brian Bell

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Anna Bindler

University College London

Stephen J. Machin

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP); London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics

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Abstract

Recessions lead to short-term job loss, lower levels of happiness and decreasing income levels. There is growing evidence that workers who first join the labour market during economic downturns suffer from poor job matches that have a sustained detrimental effect on their wages and career progression. This paper uses a range of US and UK data to document a more disturbing long-run effect of recessions: young people who leave school in the midst of recessions are significantly more likely to lead a life of crime than those graduating into a buoyant labour market. These effects are long lasting and substantial.

Keywords: crime, recessions, unemployment

JEL Classification: J64, K42

Suggested Citation

Bell, Brian and Bindler, Anna and Machin, Stephen J., Crime Scars: Recessions and the Making of Career Criminals. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8332. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2468508

Brian Bell (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Anna Bindler

University College London ( email )

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

Stephen J. Machin

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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