Holly Nguyen

Holly Nguyen

Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminology

Director, Undergraduate Program in Criminology

905 Oswald Tower
University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 863-5404

Curriculum Vitae

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  1. Ph.D., University of Maryland


Research Interests

My primary research interest can be categorized under the broad umbrella of “employment and crime”, with employment loosely defined as any activity (legal, informal, illegal) that generates income. I approach my research through a “crime as work” framework, which views criminal behavior as not fundamentally different from conventional behaviors and could be examined as such.

My work has touched on the determinants of illegal labor supply, monetary returns from crime, the relationship between legal employment, and crime and informal employment and crime. I also enjoy examining various aspects of illicit drug markets.

Research Projects

I am currently engaged in several research projects. First,  I am interested in understanding the dynamic patterns of the “life course of a prison stay.” Using administrative data from the PA Department of Corrections, I am able to create a detailed monthly life calendar for an inmate’s entire prison stay. Second, I am also using various sources of secondary data to investigate the many aspects of the relationship between employment and crime, contingent and informal employment and crime, and monetary returns from crime.

Research Interests:

Rewards from Crime, Employment and Crime, Illicit Drug Markets, Criminological Theory

Research Interests:

Families, Relationships, and Interpersonal Networks:

Rewards from Crime, Groups and Crime, Illicit Drug Markets, Criminological Theory

Social Institutions and Culture:

Rewards from Crime, Groups and Crime, Illicit Drug Markets, Criminological Theory


Rewards from criminal and non-criminal behavior, consequences of group crime, illicit drug markets