The Determinants of Juvenile Crime

Steven D. Levitt and Lance Lochner

in Risky Behavior among Youths

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print March 2001 | ISBN: 9780226310138
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226309972 | DOI:
The Determinants of Juvenile Crime

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This chapter examines the issue of juvenile crime in the United States. After laying out the basic facts and trends relevant to youth crime over the last three decades, it considers both the social costs of youth crime and the personal risks and costs borne by the criminals themselves. It then presents three new sets of estimates that shed light on the issue. The first set of regressions uses the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) to explore the correlates of crime at the individual level. The second analysis focuses on census-tract-level homicide data for the city of Chicago over a thirty-year period. These data provide a means of better understanding the influence of social factors and local labor market conditions on crime committed by youths. The final data set is a state-level panel covering fifteen years. The state-level analysis is ideal for examining the effect of the criminal justice system (and, to a lesser extent, economic factors).

Keywords: juvenile crime; National Longitudinal Survey of Youth; homicide; Chicago; social factors; labor market; criminal justice; youths

Chapter.  16969 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economics

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