New Economics Papers
on Law and Economics
Issue of 2006‒12‒22
two papers chosen by
Jeong-Joon Lee, Towson University

  1. Changes in Daytime Hours of Work and Employment in Colombia By Carlos Medina; José Escobar
  2. Crime and Circumstance: The Effects of Infant Health Shocks on Fathers' Criminal Activity By Hope Corman; Kelly Noonan; Nancy E. Reichman; Ofira Schwartz-Soicher

  1. By: Carlos Medina; José Escobar
    Abstract: We estimate the effect on hourly wages and hours of work, of an increase in the number of hours of work, defined by law as daytime hours of work. To identify the parameter of interest, we estimate difference in difference models. Although we do not know the working hour schedule; we exploit the necessary conditions for the intervention to affect them, to define treatment and comparison groups. We find that wages of males older than 25 working in industry in metropolitan areas decreased more than 11% due to the reform, while females older than 25 working in industry in metropolitan areas reduced their hours of work per week in 3.6 hours. There is evidence, although weaker, of increases in hourly wages for male workers in the other sectors of the economy. This suggests that employers increased labor demand in those sectors. Overall, the reform would have had positive effects on all workers but those in industry.
    Keywords: Classification JEL: K31; J20; J30.
  2. By: Hope Corman; Kelly Noonan; Nancy E. Reichman; Ofira Schwartz-Soicher
    Abstract: Few studies in the economics literature have linked individuals' criminal behavior to changes in their personal circumstances. Life shocks, such as natural or personal disasters, could reduce or sever a person's connections to his/her family, job, or community. With fewer connections, crime may become a more attractive option. This study addresses the question of whether an exogenous shock in life circumstances affects criminal activity. Specifically, we estimate the effects of the birth of a child with a random and serious health problem (versus the birth of a healthy infant) on the likelihood that the child's father becomes or remains involved in illegal activities. Controlling for the father's pre-birth criminal activity, we find that the shock of having a child with a serious health problem increases both the father's post-birth conviction and incarceration by 1 to 8 percentage points, depending on the measure of infant health used.
    JEL: I1 K42
    Date: 2006–12

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