Does Wealth Inhibit Criminal Behavior? Evidence from Swedish Lottery Winners and Their Children

23 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2023

See all articles by David Cesarini

David Cesarini

New York University (NYU); IFN

Erik Lindqvist

Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI); Affiliated researcher

Robert Ostling

Stockholm School of Economics - Department of Economics

Christofer Schroeder

European Central Bank (ECB)

Date Written: December 2023

Abstract

There is a well-established negative gradient between economic status and crime, but its underlying causal mechanisms are not well understood. We use data on four Swedish lotteries matched to data on criminal convictions to gauge the causal effect of financial windfalls on player’s own crime and their children’s delinquency. Weestimate a positive but statistically insignificant effect of lottery wealth on players’ own conviction risk. Our estimates allow us to rule out effects one fifth as large as the cross-sectional gradient between income and crime. We also estimate a less precise null effect of parental lottery wealth on child delinquency.

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Suggested Citation

Cesarini, David and Lindqvist, Erik and Ostling, Robert and Schroeder, Christofer, Does Wealth Inhibit Criminal Behavior? Evidence from Swedish Lottery Winners and Their Children (December 2023). NBER Working Paper No. w31962, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4667487

David Cesarini (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) ( email )

19 W 4th Street
6FL
New York, NY 10012
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IFN ( email )

Box 55665
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Stockholm, SE-102 15
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Erik Lindqvist

Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI) ( email )

Kyrkgatan 43B
SE-106 91 Stockholm
Sweden

Affiliated researcher ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

Robert Ostling

Stockholm School of Economics - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 6501
Sveavagen 65
S-113 83 Stockholm
Sweden

Christofer Schroeder

European Central Bank (ECB) ( email )

Sonnemannstrasse 22
Frankfurt am Main, 60314
Germany

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