Short Criminals: Stature and Crime in Early America
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.
The authors thank Veronica Hart for excellent research assistance. Bodenhorn thanks the Irish American Cultural Institute, Lafayette College, and the National Science Foundation (SES-0109165) for financial support. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
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. citation courtesy of