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Risky moms, risky kids? Fertility and crime after the fall of the wall

Arnaud Chevalier and Olivier Marie

No 14251, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: We study the link between parental selection and child criminality. Following the collapse of the communist regime in 1989, the number of births halved in East Germany. These cohorts became markedly more likely to be arrested as they grew up in reunified Germany. This is observed for both genders and all offence types. We highlight risk attitude as an important reason why certain women did not alter their fertility decisions during this time of economic uncertainty. We also show that this preference for risk was then strongly transmitted to their children which may in turn explain their high criminal propensity.

Keywords: crime; economic uncertainty; Fertility; parental selection; risk attitude (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J13 K42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019-12
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