Developmental trajectories of white-collar crime

Nicole Leeper Piquero*, David Weisburd

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

42 Scopus citations


The criminal career paradigm represented a successful shift in criminological thinking, and ensuing research has generated important descriptive information about the key dimensions of active criminals; spurning both theoretical (developmental/life-course criminology) and methodological/statistical advances. Yet, the paradigm has failed to take into account acts of criminality that do not fit into the stereotypical image of street offending, in particular white-collar crime. The current study utilizes group-based trajectory modeling to examine trends of criminal behavior in a sample of convicted white-collar criminals over a more than 10-year follow-up period. Three offender trajectories are identified (low rate, intermittent, and persistent offenders) and suggest the importance of recognizing the variability of offending in a white-collar crime sample, and the overlap between white-collar and common crime criminal careers. This study also suggests the importance of recognizing both static and dynamic factors in the understanding of criminal careers. This research confirms a heterogeneous view of white-collar crime which recognizes that the white-collar crime category includes within it a broad diversity of offenders, and suggests that it is important to recognize that different models of explanation may be needed to provide explanations for different types of offenders.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationThe Criminology of White-Collar Crime
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9780387095011
StatePublished - 2009


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