Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/162863
Authors: 
Friehe, Tim
Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah
Year of Publication: 
2017
Series/Report no.: 
DICE Discussion Paper 264
Abstract: 
Low self-control is considered a fundamental cause of crime. The aim of our study is to provide causal evidence on the link between self-control and criminal behavior. We test whether individuals with lower self-control behave in a more antisocial manner and are less risk-averse and thus are, according to both the General Theory of Crime and the economic literature on criminal behavior, more likely to engage in criminal activities. In order to exogenously vary the level of self-control in a laboratory experiment, we use a wellestablished experimental manipulation, a so-called depletion task. We find that subjects with low self-control take more risk. The effect of self-control on antisocial behavior is small and not significant. In sum, our findings are consistent with the proposition that low selfcontrol is a facilitator of crime to the extent that individuals with lower levels of self-control are less effectively deterred by probabilistic sanctions.
Subjects: 
self-control
risk taking
antisocial behavior
criminal behavior
ego-depletion
experiment
JEL: 
C91
D03
K42
ISBN: 
978-3-86304-263-9
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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