Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

N. 111 - "Impatience and crime. Evidence from the NLSY97" - Stefania Basiglio, Alessandra Foresta and Gilberto Turati


We empirically test the relationship between crime and impatience at the individual level exploiting data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97). Besides providing information on both violent and property crimes, NLSY97 allows to observe different behaviors sharing impatience as a common latent factor. We use factor analysis to extract this common factor as a measure for impatience. Estimates from a Logit model suggest a positive association between impatience and crime. This relationship differs across genders: impatience matters for both violent and property crimes for women, while it affects only violent crimes for men. The result is robust to different specifications of the factor analysis and to controls for risk preferences. Our results bring support to policies aimed at influencing individual time preferences as an indirect way to combat crime.

JEL codes: D99, K42, Z13.
Keywords: Time preferences, Impatience, Property crime, Violent crime, NLSY97, factor analysis.
ISSN 2704-7407