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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. Grogger, Jeff, 1998. "Market Wages and Youth Crime," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(4), pages 756-91, October.
  2. Devereux, Paul J. & Hart, Robert A., 2008. "Forced to Be Rich? Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 3305, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Tauchen, Helen & Witte, Ann Dryden & Griesinger, Harriet, 1994. "Criminal Deterrence: Revisiting the Issue with a Birth Cohort," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(3), pages 399-412, August.
  4. 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.
  5. Paul J Devereux & Wen Fan, 2011. "Earnings Returns to the British Education Expansion," Working Papers 201111, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  6. Lance Lochner, 2004. "Education, Work, And Crime: A Human Capital Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(3), pages 811-843, 08.
  7. Stephen Machin & Olivier Marie & Sunčica Vujić, 2010. "The crime reducing effect of education," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28727, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. Lance Lochner, 2011. "Non-Production Benefits of Education: Crime, Health, and Good Citizenship," NBER Working Papers 16722, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Steven D. Levitt & Lance Lochner, 2001. "The Determinants of Juvenile Crime," NBER Chapters, in: Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis, pages 327-374 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Jo Blanden & Stephen Machin, 2004. "Educational Inequality and the Expansion of UK Higher Education," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 51(2), pages 230-249, 05.
  11. Steve Machin & Costas Meghir, 2000. "Crime and economic incentives," IFS Working Papers W00/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  12. Oreopoulos, Philip, 2007. "Do dropouts drop out too soon? Wealth, health and happiness from compulsory schooling," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(11-12), pages 2213-2229, December.
  13. Ricardo Sabates & Leon Feinstein, 2008. "Effects of government initiatives on youth crime," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 462-483, July.
  14. Hjalmarsson, Randi, 2008. "Criminal justice involvement and high school completion," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 613-630, March.
  15. 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.
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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. 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.
  3. repec:tir:wpaper:50 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Ignacio Munyo, . "The Juvenile Crime Dilemma," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. 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.
  6. Nordin , Martin, 2014. "Does Eligibility for Tertiary Education Affect Crime Rates? Quasi-Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 2014:14, Lund University, Department of Economics.

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