Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Perry Singleton Ph.D. Associate Professor of Economics
Michael Wasylenko Ph.D. Professor of Economics
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
Economics | Other Economics | Political Economy | Public Economics
My paper focuses on changes in the expectations of arrested youths. I use the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 cohort to examine the effects of an arrest on three separate expectations: the expectation of earning a four-year college degree by the age of 30, the expectation of being arrested after stealing a car, and the expectation of being fined and released after stealing a car. In all cases, I isolate those respondents who have been arrested between and not prior to their interview dates in 1997 and 2001. These are the survey rounds in which the expectation questions of interest were asked. I use a modified difference in differences approach to establish significant changes between treatment and control groups. My results show arrest to have significant impacts in one of the three categories. My results supplement previous work showing that the event of an arrest significantly lowers the probability of attaining a college degree. In addition, this paper further supports Gary Becker’s Theory of Rational Criminal Behavior by showing that the effect of an arrest significantly lowers one’s expectation of low consequences of a serious criminal offense (being released after stealing a car) relative to those who have not been arrested.
Arbuckle, Kenneth, "The Impact of Arrest on Expectations of Educational Attainment and Criminal Punishment" (2014). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 795.
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