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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 147660 Find in a Library
Journal: Contemporary Policy Issues  Volume:10  Issue:2  Dated:(April 1992)  Pages:84-97
Author(s): S L Myers Jr
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 14
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study explores the links between self-admitted drug dealing and labor-force behavior to determine whether and, if so, how returns to employment influence the decisions by both African Americans and whites to enter drug dealing.
Abstract: Using data collected on inmates in prisons and jails in California, Michigan, and Texas, this analysis concludes the African-American and white offenders differ significantly in their perceptions of criminal opportunities and in their self-images as drug dealers. Still, African-American and white offenders would face no major changes in their relative work and drug-dealing probabilities even if these perceptions and criminal opportunities were equalized. The legitimate opportunities are those that would make a difference. Whites earn much more in legal wages relative to their illegal earnings than do African-Americans. Because of such a strong inverse relationship between these relative earnings and participation in drug dealing, the natural effect of an increase in African-American wages would be to reduce their drug involvement. Given the strength of the expected wage impacts on drug dealing, the entrepreneurial motive is not likely to dominate among those dealing drugs. 3 tables, 1 figure, and 16 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile/Youth Gangs
Index Term(s): Black/White Attitude Comparisons; Black/White Crime Comparisons; Criminology; Drug smuggling; Employment-crime relationships
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