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EDUCATION, WORK, AND CRIME: A HUMAN CAPITAL APPROACH

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Abstract

This article develops a model of crime in which human capital increases the opportunity cost of crime from foregone work and expected costs associated with incarceration. Older, more intelligent, and more educated adults should commit fewer street (unskilled) crimes. White collar crimes decline less (or increase) with age and education. Predictions for age–crime and education–crime relationships receive broad empirical support in self-report data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and arrest data from the Uniform Crime Reports. The effects of education, training, and wage subsidies, as well as enforcement policies on criminal behavior are discussed.

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