We examine the effects of criminal activity and criminal conviction on the income and job stability of young British offenders. Using longitudinal data on job market performance, as well as self-reported data on criminality and official records on conviction, we estimate the separate effects of criminality and conviction. We find that criminality alone has no effect on job performance, whereas conviction increases both job instability and pay. These results confirm results we have obtained elsewhere showing that conviction increases the income of young offenders. We explain the positive effect of conviction on pay by appeal to a human capital explanation of workers' pay.
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Thanks to Jacqueline Cohen, Donald Fullerton, Lowell Taylor, and Joseph Tracy for helpful comments and to Bee Lim for research assistance. This work was supported by National Science Foundation under Grant SES-9023109. Part of the work on this paper was done while Waldfogel was an Olin Visidng Fellow at Yale Law School.