White-Collar Crime and Criminal Careers: Some Preliminary Findings

David Weisburd, Elin J. Waring, Ellen F. Chayet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


The criminal career paradigm has become an increasingly important perspective in the study of street crimes, but it has generated little interest among scholars concerned with white-collar criminality. Behind this neglect lies a common assumption about white-collar criminals. Although street criminals are assumed highly likely to recidivate, white-collar offenders are thought to be “one-shot” criminals unlikely to be processed in the justice system after their initial brush with the law. This article examines the extent to which this image of white-collar criminals is reflected in the criminal records of defendants convicted under white-collar crime statutes. Findings show that white-collar criminals are often repeat offenders. The data also suggest that such offenders are likely to begin their “careers” later, and evidence lower frequency of offending than do street criminals. The article concludes by examining the implications of these findings for white-collar crime research and policy.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)342-355
Number of pages14
JournalCrime and Delinquency
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1990
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'White-Collar Crime and Criminal Careers: Some Preliminary Findings'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this