The Employment-Crime Association for Individuals Convicted of a Sexual Offense in Their Youth

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We study the bi-directional relationship between employment and crime for individuals convicted for a sexual offense in their youth (JSO) and investigate the moderating influences of age and employment duration.

A bi-variate dynamic binary choice model is developed to allow for interactions between employment and crime. The model takes into account statistical aspects such as state dependence and unobserved heterogeneity.

For a sample of N = 493 JSO, who are observed in early adulthood, age 18 until 28, we find significant negative predictive effects for employment on property offending and vice versa. For other types of offenses, the model indicates that the negative correlation with employment is due to spurious effects. This holds for all ages, but the negative effect of employment on property offending becomes stronger for the older cohorts, while the effect of property offending on employment decreases in magnitude. Employment duration is found to be a mild moderating factor.

The evidence in favor of bidirectional negative relationships among offending and employment that increase in magnitude with age suggests the importance of theories that emphasize cumulative (dis)advantage, such as social control theory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440–467
Number of pages467
JournalJournal of Developmental and Life-Course Criminology
Issue number4
Early online date3 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


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