Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2014

Capstone Advisor

Perry Singleton Ph.D. Associate Professor of Economics

Honors Reader

Michael Wasylenko Ph.D. Professor of Economics

Capstone Major


Capstone College


Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Social Sciences

Subject Categories

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.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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