Labor market conditions and violent crime among youth and adults

Lauren J. Krivo, Ruth D. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Drawing on labor stratification and life course perspectives, this article extends recent work on the role of labor market conditions in neighborhood rates of violent crime by examining whether distinct aspects of labor market quantity (joblessness) and quality (secondary sector work and low-wage jobs) have varying effects on violent arrest rates for teenagers, young adults, and older adults. Drawing on data for census tracts in Cleveland, Ohio, we demonstrate that the relevance of the labor market for violent crime is contingent on the age group and characteristic examined. Labor market conditions have limited effects on violent arrest rates for teens. Older adult rates are influenced only by levels of joblessness. However, violent crime among younger adults is affected by both the quantity and the quality of work. We discuss the theoretical and empirical implications of these patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-505
Number of pages21
JournalSociological Perspectives
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science

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