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Youth Crime and Education Expansion

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  • Stephen Machin
  • Olivier Marie
  • Sunčica Vujić

Abstract

We present new evidence on the causal impact of education on crime, by considering a largeexpansion of the UK post-compulsory education system that occurred in the late 1980s and early1990s. The education expansion raised education levels across the whole education distributionand, in particular for our analysis, at the bottom end enabling us to develop an instrumentalvariable strategy to study the crime-education relationship. At the same time as the educationexpansion, youth crime fell, revealing a significant cross-cohort relationship between crime andeducation. The causal crime reducing effect of education is estimated to be negative andsignificant, and considerably bigger in (absolute) magnitude than ordinary least squaresestimates. The education boost also significantly impacted other productivity related economicvariables (qualification attainment and wages), demonstrating that the incapacitation effect ofadditional time spent in school is not the sole driver of the results.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Verein für Socialpolitik in its journal German Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 13 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 366-384

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Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:13:y:2012:i:4:p:366-384

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  1. Devereux, Paul J. & Hart, Robert A, 2008. "Forced to be Rich? Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Britain," CEPR Discussion Papers 6679, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Hjalmarsson, Randi, 2008. "Criminal justice involvement and high school completion," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 613-630, March.
  3. Jo Blanden & Stephen Machin, 2013. "Educational Inequality and The Expansion of UK Higher Education," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 60(5), pages 578-596, November.
  4. Naci H. Mocan & Bulent Unel, 2011. "Skill-biased Technological Change, Earnings of Unskilled Workers, and Crime," NBER Working Papers 17605, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Machin Stephen & Marie Olivier & Vujić Sunčica, 2010. "The Crime Reducing Effect of Education," Research Memorandum 061, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  6. Eric D. Gould & Bruce A. Weinberg & David B. Mustard, 2002. "Crime Rates And Local Labor Market Opportunities In The United States: 1979-1997," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 45-61, February.
  7. Machin Stephen & Marie Olivier & Vujić Sunčica, 2010. "The Crime Reducing Effect of Education," Research Memorandum 061, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  8. Devereux, Paul J. & Fan, Wen, 2011. "Earnings returns to the British education expansion," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1153-1166.
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Cited by:
  1. Brugård, Kaja Høiseth & Falch, Torberg, 2013. "Post-compulsory education and imprisonment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 97-106.
  2. Rud, I & Van Klaveren, C. & Groot, W. and Maassen van den Brink, H., 2013. "Education and Youth Crime: a Review of the Empirical Literature," Working Papers 48, Top Institute for Evidence Based Education Research.
  3. Marc van der Steeg & Roel van Elk & Dinand Webbink, 2012. "Does intensive coaching reduce school dropout?," CPB Discussion Paper 224, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  4. repec:tir:wpaper:50 is not listed on IDEAS

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