The Lead Article of the Journal of Population Economics Issue 4 of the anniversary volume is now available online.
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The effect of child maltreatment on illegal and problematic behaviour: new evidence on the ‘cycle of violence’ using twins data
by Violeta Misheva, Dinand Webbink, Nicholas G. Martin, J Popul Econ (2017) 30(4): 1035–1087.
This paper investigates the effect of physical and sexual child maltreatment on several types of illegal and problematic behaviour. By using variation within pairs of twins, we are able to mitigate concerns about confounding factors from previous studies. Using ordinary least squares and twin fixed effects estimation approaches, we find that child maltreatment has a large effect on illegal and problematic behaviours such as drug abuse, conduct disorders, and crime. The estimated effects suggest an increase of illegal and problematic behaviour between 50 and 100%. Our findings are consistent with the so-called cycle of violence hypothesis.