NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Short Criminals: Stature and Crime in Early America

Howard Bodenhorn, Carolyn Moehling, Gregory N. Price

NBER Working Paper No. 15945
Issued in April 2010
NBER Program(s):   DAE   LS

This paper considers the extent to which crime in early America was conditioned on height. With data on inmates incarcerated in Pennsylvania state penitentiaries between 1826 and 1876, we estimate the parameters of Wiebull proportional hazard specifications of the individual crime hazard. Our results reveal that, consistent with a theory in which height can be a source of labor market disadvantage, criminals in early America were shorter than the average American, and individual crime hazards decreased in height.

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Published: Howard Bodenhorn & Carolyn Moehling & Gregory N. Price, 2012. "Short Criminals: Stature and Crime in Early America," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(2), pages 393 - 419.

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