Time Discounting and Criminal Behavior. Åkerlund, D., Golsteyn, B. H. H., Grönqvist, H., & Lindahl, L. 113(22):6160–6165.
Time Discounting and Criminal Behavior [link]Paper  doi  abstract   bibtex   
[Significance] One of the most fundamental predictions of almost any model of crime is that individual time preferences matter. However, empirical evidence on this basic property of the model is essentially nonexistent. We empirically investigate whether individual time discounting measured at age 13 predicts subsequent criminal involvement up to age 31. We show that time discounting significantly predicts criminal activity and that high discount rates predict crime more strongly at the extensive margin rather than for total crime. The link is much stronger for property crime and among males with low intelligence. [Abstract] One of the most basic predictions of almost any model of crime is that individual time preferences matter. However, empirical evidence on this fundamental property is essentially nonexistent. To our knowledge, this paper provides the first pieces of evidence on the link between time discounting and crime. We use a unique dataset that combines a survey-based measure of time discount rates (at age 13) with detailed longitudinal register data on criminal behavior spanning over 18 y. Our results show that individuals with short time horizons have a significantly higher risk of criminal involvement later in life. The magnitude of the relationship is substantial and corresponds to roughly one-third of the association between intelligence and crime.
@article{akerlundTimeDiscountingCriminal2016,
  title = {Time Discounting and Criminal Behavior},
  author = {Åkerlund, David and Golsteyn, Bart H. H. and Grönqvist, Hans and Lindahl, Lena},
  date = {2016-05},
  journaltitle = {Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences},
  volume = {113},
  pages = {6160--6165},
  issn = {1091-6490},
  doi = {10.1073/pnas.1522445113},
  url = {https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1522445113},
  abstract = {[Significance]

One of the most fundamental predictions of almost any model of crime is that individual time preferences matter. However, empirical evidence on this basic property of the model is essentially nonexistent. We empirically investigate whether individual time discounting measured at age 13 predicts subsequent criminal involvement up to age 31. We show that time discounting significantly predicts criminal activity and that high discount rates predict crime more strongly at the extensive margin rather than for total crime. The link is much stronger for property crime and among males with low intelligence.

[Abstract]

One of the most basic predictions of almost any model of crime is that individual time preferences matter. However, empirical evidence on this fundamental property is essentially nonexistent. To our knowledge, this paper provides the first pieces of evidence on the link between time discounting and crime. We use a unique dataset that combines a survey-based measure of time discount rates (at age 13) with detailed longitudinal register data on criminal behavior spanning over 18 y. Our results show that individuals with short time horizons have a significantly higher risk of criminal involvement later in life. The magnitude of the relationship is substantial and corresponds to roughly one-third of the association between intelligence and crime.},
  keywords = {*imported-from-citeulike-INRMM,~INRMM-MiD:c-14054073,~to-add-doi-URL,cognitive-biases,cognitive-structure,discount-rate,ethics,psychology},
  number = {22}
}
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