Start Date

15-10-2009 3:30 PM

End Date

15-10-2009 3:45 PM

Description

Two geographically and culturally connected nations, the United States and Canada, have starkly contrasting violent crime rates. Comparable surveys show that American teenagers on average are three times as likely to engage in fights as their Canadian peers and that this cross-country violence gap exists even among children as young as 4-5 years old. Conventional arguments believed to account for this sharp contrast in violence rates prove to have limited explanatory power. The US violence premium remains a puzzle. Using rich information provided by large-scale individual level longitudinal survey data, this study performs a Canada-US comparative analysis with a special focus on the role of maternal work after birth in determining children’s violent anti-social behaviour. The fact that 1/3 of American mothers and only 5% of Canadian mothers start full time work within 3 months after giving birth explains a considerable portion of the US-Canada difference in violence rates both for boys and for girls.

Lihui Zhang is an Assistant Professor in the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Regina. Her primary research areas include labour economics, health economics, applied econometrics, crime economics, and economics of family and children. In particular, she is interested in policy-relevant empirical research on population health and well-being. An earlier version of her research titled "Learning Violence Young" was featured in the Vancouver Sun in June 2008. In 2008, Zhang was awarded a PhD fellowship by the Canadian Labour Market and Skills Researcher Network (CLSRN), funded by SSHRC.

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Oct 15th, 3:30 PM Oct 15th, 3:45 PM

Poster Introductions II--Learning Violence Young

Two geographically and culturally connected nations, the United States and Canada, have starkly contrasting violent crime rates. Comparable surveys show that American teenagers on average are three times as likely to engage in fights as their Canadian peers and that this cross-country violence gap exists even among children as young as 4-5 years old. Conventional arguments believed to account for this sharp contrast in violence rates prove to have limited explanatory power. The US violence premium remains a puzzle. Using rich information provided by large-scale individual level longitudinal survey data, this study performs a Canada-US comparative analysis with a special focus on the role of maternal work after birth in determining children’s violent anti-social behaviour. The fact that 1/3 of American mothers and only 5% of Canadian mothers start full time work within 3 months after giving birth explains a considerable portion of the US-Canada difference in violence rates both for boys and for girls.

Lihui Zhang is an Assistant Professor in the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Regina. Her primary research areas include labour economics, health economics, applied econometrics, crime economics, and economics of family and children. In particular, she is interested in policy-relevant empirical research on population health and well-being. An earlier version of her research titled "Learning Violence Young" was featured in the Vancouver Sun in June 2008. In 2008, Zhang was awarded a PhD fellowship by the Canadian Labour Market and Skills Researcher Network (CLSRN), funded by SSHRC.