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.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - 31 May 2016|
- time discounting
- intertemporal choice
- PRESCHOOL DELAY