DP18649 Does Wealth Inhibit Criminal Behavior? Evidence from Swedish Lottery Players and Their Children
There is a well-established negative gradient between economic status and crime, but its underlying causal mechanisms are not well understood. We use data on four Swedish lotteries matched to data on criminal convictions to gauge the causal effect of financial windfalls on player's own crime and their children's delinquency. We estimate a positive but statistically insignificant effect of lottery wealth on players' own conviction risk. Our estimates allow us to rule out effects one fifth as large as the cross-sectional gradient between income and crime. We also estimate a less precise null effect of parental lottery wealth on child delinquency.