Age Gradient in Women’s Crime: The Role of Welfare Reform

Hope Corman, Dhaval M. Dave, Nancy E. Reichman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigate how welfare reform in the U.S. in the 1990s shaped the age gradient in women’s property crime arrests. Using Federal Bureau of Investigation data, we investigated the age-patterning of effects of welfare reform on women’s arrests for property crime, the type of crime that welfare reform has been shown to affect. We found that welfare reform reduced women’s property crime arrests by about 4%, with particularly strong effects for women ages 25 to 29, slightly stronger effects in states with stricter work incentives, and much stronger effects in states with high per capita criminal justice expenditures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)631-657
Number of pages27
JournalFeminist Criminology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Law


  • age gradient
  • connections with welfare system
  • economic marginality
  • female criminality
  • women and social policy
  • women’s desistance


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