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Time discounting and criminal behavior
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI).
2016 (English)In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, ISSN 0027-8424, E-ISSN 1091-6490, Vol. 113, no 22, 6160-6165 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

One of the most basic predictions of almost any model of crime is that individual time preferences matter. However, empirical evidence on this fundamental property is essentially nonexistent. To our knowledge, this paper provides the first pieces of evidence on the link between time discounting and crime. We use a unique dataset that combines a survey-based measure of time discount rates (at age 13) with detailed longitudinal register data on criminal behavior spanning over 18 y. Our results show that individuals with short time horizons have a significantly higher risk of criminal involvement later in life. The magnitude of the relationship is substantial and corresponds to roughly one-third of the association between intelligence and crime.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 113, no 22, 6160-6165 p.
Keyword [en]
crime, intertemporal choice, time discounting
National Category
Psychology Sociology Economics and Business
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-130826DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1522445113ISI: 000376784600036PubMedID: 27185950OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-130826DiVA: diva2:933637
Available from: 2016-06-07 Created: 2016-06-07 Last updated: 2016-07-04Bibliographically approved

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Lindahl, Lena
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