Relative cohort size and age-specific arrest rates: A conditional interpretation of the easterlin effect

Jukka Savolainen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

The demographic theory formulated by Richard Easterlin (1980) predicts a positive relationship between the relative size of birth cohorts and their rates of criminal offending. Extensive testing of this hypothesis has produced scant support in the literature. Drawing on the emerging conditional interpretation of the Easterlin effect, we propose that the impact of fertility decline on the criminal behavior of the Baby Bust generation may have been suppressed by changes in family structure and racial differences in fertility. Although finding support for this argument, particularly in models explaining property crime, in the final analysis, our research underscores the marginal nature of the Easterlin effect as an explanation of criminal behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-136
Number of pages20
JournalCriminology
Volume38
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law

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