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Youth, Underemployment, and Property Crime: Differential Effects of Job Availability and Job Quality on Juvenile and Young Adult Arrest Rates

Emilie Andersen Allan and Darrell J. Steffensmeier
American Sociological Review
Vol. 54, No. 1 (Feb., 1989), pp. 107-123
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2095665
Page Count: 17
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Youth, Underemployment, and Property Crime: Differential Effects of Job Availability and Job Quality on Juvenile and Young Adult Arrest Rates
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Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between employment conditions and property-crime arrest rates of male juveniles and young adults, using age-specific state-level data from 1977-1980, compiled from raw arrest data of the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports and from the Census Bureau's annual March Current Population Survey. The analysis is disaggregated by age and utilizes dimensions of underemployment to provide more sensitive indicators for labor market conditions, including measures of job availability (such as unemployment) and job quality (such as low hours and low wages). Controls are included for criminal opportunity and other variables related to crime and the labor market. Labor market effects on arrest rates differ for juveniles and young adults. Availability of employment produces strong effects on juvenile arrest rates--full-time employment is associated with low arrest rates, unemployment with high arrest rates. Low quality of employment (e.g., inadequate pay and hours) is associated with high arrest rates for young adults. We discuss theoretical and policy implications of our findings.

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