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Social Exclusion and Offending

Roger Bowles
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Roger Bowles: University of York

Chapter 6 in Social Exclusion. Short and Long Term Causes and Consequences, 2012, pp 105-125 from AIEL - Associazione Italiana Economisti del Lavoro

Abstract: Social exclusion is costly for both its victims and for mainstream society which may experience negative externalities from excluded or marginal groups and contribute resources to support them. Offending behaviour (the principal area of interest in this paper) is costly to its victims and to society and is closely intertwined with exclusion. Offending is often found in association with other indicators of exclusion such as unemployment, problematic substance misuse and mental and physical health issues. The paper uses a generic model of offending, based on the notion of human capital development, viewed from the wider context of social exclusion. It seeks to avoid two criticisms of standard economic models of crime, namely that they tend to be static rather than dynamic and also that they omit any treatment of adolescence during which preferences and planning skills are still in their formative phase. The paper uses data from a number of contemporary English surveys to test the principal conjectures on which a more general, economics-based approach to offending might be developed. The paper concludes that an approach that considers the role of social exclusion provides a better understanding of offending than one that treats crime purely as an enforcement issue.

Keywords: Offending; Social Exclusion; Poverty; Adolescent Development; Unemployment; Reconvictions. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I24 I32 I38 J71 K42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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