Hooks for change? Family and employment as pathways to social inclusion among crime-prone individuals

Empirisk undersøke hvordan sysselsetting og familieoverganger bidrar til å fremme sosial integrasjon og redusere krimininalitet blant personer i en marginalisert posisjon i samfunnet.


Torbjørn Skardhamar
Oddbjørn Raaum, Bernt Bratsberg, Ole Jørgen Røgeberg, Knut Røed (Frischsenteret)
Norges Forskningsråd (VAM-program)
01.01.2011 - 31.12.2014

Om prosjektet

Motivated by the idea that the most effective crime prevention measures are based on a high degree of inclusion in social arenas, this project studies the interactions between criminal activity, family events and labour market outcomes, focusing on how employment, partnerships and parenthood represent pathways to social inclusion among crime-prone individuals. Employment represents a possible turning point for deviant individuals. It provides access to legal income, imposes structure through routines and schedules, and strengthens self-esteem. Family formation and parenthood may offer an opportunity to rewrite one's 'life script' with a new social role and identity, and with increased motivation and support for legal employment. Thus, employment and family may be important resources in crime reducing polices and rehabilitative initiatives.

The Norwegian register data contains information that is particularly well suited for this task, and they open new avenues for research on the dynamics of work, family and crime. In addition to addressing new research questions, the richness of the data also allows use of sophisticated statistical methods, like complex life-course transition models accounting for unobserved heterogeneity as well as methods suited to identify causal mechanisms.

The primary objective is to empirically investigate how labour market involvement and family events interact in promoting social integration and reduce crime among crime-prone individuals at the fringes of society.

Secondary objectives includes:

1. Describe how involvement in crime develops around the time of events such as employment, job displacement, family formation and family dissolution

2. Study interactions between work, family and crime simultaneously in a unified framework which accounts for unobserved heterogeneity

3. Utilize sources of exogenous variation to estimate causal effects of labour market programs and peer effects on crime

4. Describe and estimate how criminal charges and punishment during adolescence affect adult outcomes like labour force participation and family structure

5. Do comparative analyses using detailed register data from the Nordic countries and surveys from the United States

6. Provide explicit analyses by gender and immigrant background throughout the studies

Publisert forskning