Economic uncertainty, parental selection, and the criminal activity of the 'children of the wall'

A. Chevalier, O. Marie

Research output: Working paper / PreprintWorking paper

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We explore the link between parental selection and criminality of children in a new
context. After the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989, East Germany experienced a very large, but temporary, drop in birth rates mostly driven by economic uncertainty. We exploit this natural experiment in a differences in differences setup to first estimate that the children from these affected (smaller) cohorts are relatively much more likely to be criminally active. Using individual level data, we provide evidence that women who gave birth at this period of uncertainty were negatively selected into fertility.
Further investigation of the underlying mechanisms reveals that emotional attachment and intergenerational transmission of risk attitudes play important roles in the parental selection-crime of children relationship. Finally, results for siblings support a causal interpretation of our findings.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

Publication series

SeriesROA Research Memoranda

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