Chair: Wim Huisman

EUROC/EDLC session: Towards a life-course criminology of corporate crime

Building: A
Room: 12


Author: Benson Michael, University of Cincinnati

Title: Life Course theory and White-Collar Crime: a Review and Integration of Recent Findings
Over the past three decades a number of disparate findings have emerged that call into question long standing assumptions about the characteristics, lives, and criminal careers of white-collar offenders. These findings involve personality characteristics, cognition, sensitivity to sanctions, social backgrounds, self-control, and trajectories in crime. Although it is far from clear how they are connected or how they all fit together, these findings nevertheless suggest that it would be fruitful to apply a suitably modified life course perspective to white-collar offending. This paper will review this body of research, attempt to sketch out how it fits within the life-course perspective, and make suggestions for going forward.
Keywords: life-course, white collar crime, corporate crime
Author: Galvin Miranda, University of Maryland

Sally Simpson, University of Maryland Cristina Layana, University of Maryland Justin Bernstein, University of Maryland
Title: Transitions and Turning Points: Corporate Life Cycle, Gender Diversity, and Corporate Crime
The life-course approach emphasizes the effect of life events on continuity and change in individual antisocial and criminal offending, over the life span. This perspective is most often used to explain individual participation in traditional forms of offending, but there is potential merit (and peril) in applying the approach to corporate crime. Companies, like individuals, change over time and business management theories acknowledge that corporations, like individuals, have life cycles (birth, growth, maturity, revival) that can be used to predict organizational behavior. In this paper, we integrate life-course criminology with organizational life-cycle theory to assess how corporate board structures change over time and whether those changes are related to corporate illegality. In particular, does the age of a firm influence patterns of change in board gender diversity over time (slow and gradual, or sudden, for example), controlling for industry. Do these patterns have a relationship with corporate offending cases overall or for specific types of cases (financial, environmental, or anticompetitive violations)? Do diversity patterns moderate the relationship between firm age and offending? To answer these questions, we unite firm and corporate offending information from a variety of sources to create panel data from 1996-2013 for approximately 3000 large public firms in the United States.
Keywords: life-course, white collar crime, board structures
Author: Peeters Marlijn, Leiden University

Marieke Kluin, Leiden University Arjan Blokland, Leiden University / NSCR Wim Huisman, VU University Ellen Wiering, Leiden University
Title: Decade-Long Patterns of Regulatory Violations in Chemical Corporations
Criminal career and life-course research has examined developmental patterns in common crime from infancy to adulthood, increasing our understanding of how criminal behavior is related to age in different types of offenders. Unlike criminal career research into the criminal behavior of natural persons, longitudinal research into rule violations by corporations is still scarce. The few available studies are mostly limited to US corporations, suffer from either a small sample size or a short follow-up period, thus limiting the generalizability of their findings. The present study uses longitudinal data on rule violating behavior of 694 Dutch chemical corporations derived from yearly inspections (N = 4,367) of the relevant safety and environmental agencies between 2006 and 2017. The study aims to gain insight in the patterning of rule violations by Dutch chemical corporations, and the extent to which these patterns are associated with sector and corporate characteristics. The results show that rule violation is common among Dutch chemical corporations. A small minority of chronically violating corporations however, is responsible for a disproportional share of all observed rule violations. Using group based trajectory modelling (GBTM) we distinguish several longitudinal patterns of rule violations in our data. Available sector and corporation characteristics are only weakly associated with the patterns of rule violations identified.
Keywords: white collar crime, corporate crime, life-course criminology
Author: Blokland Arjan, Leiden University / NSCR

Ellen Wiering, Leiden University Marlijn Peeters, Leiden University Wim Huisman, VU University Marieke Kluin, Leiden University
Title: Longitudinal Rule Violation Data and Untoward Events as Predictors of Serious Incidents
Serious incidents in major hazard industry can have a devastating impact on public safety and the environment. This paper explores to what extent prospective serious incidents can be predicted. For this prediction we use longitudinal rule violation data, combined with untoward events and serious incidents reported by chemical corporations. Literature on external reporting of these events and incidents remains limited. This paper contributes to scientific research by providing an empirical insight into factors and processes behind incident reporting. Results indicated that some incidents were preceded by early warnings and weak signals, such as violations and smaller events. It seems these early warnings and weak signals show that these incidents have a period of development (or incubation) in the life-course of a corporation. Our analyses indicate that tackling incidents with a multidimensional approach (life-course of corporations and longitudinal rule violation data) provides a vivid picture of patterns of over-compliance, compliance and corporate crime.
Keywords: white collar crime, corporate crime, life course criminology, regulatory enforcement
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