Work and Crime

Aaron Chalfin and Steven Raphael

in The Oxford Handbook of Crime and Criminal Justice

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780195395082
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Work and Crime

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  • Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Crime Prevention
  • Corrections



This article reviews the connections between work and crime. Section I discusses a simple microeconomic model of criminal participation, which models criminal participation in terms of the traditional time-use allocation model that forms the bedrock of the economic analysis of labor supply. To assess the extent to which the model is supported by existing empirical research, Section II reviews three bodies of literature: research by economists on the relationship between incentives and participation in crime measured at the individual level, experimental evaluations of labor market interventions targeted at former prison inmates, and research analyzing the aggregate relationship between crime and measures of macroeconomic conditions. Section III analyzes the effects of past criminal activity on future employment prospects operating through the effects of having served time, while Section IV offers some conclusions.

Keywords: criminal participation; criminal behavior; microeconomic model; criminal activity; employment prospects

Article.  13989 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Crime Prevention ; Corrections

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