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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 consideringa large expansion of the UK post-compulsory education system that occurred in thelate 1980s and early 1990s. The education expansion raised education levels acrossthe whole education distribution and, in particular for our analysis, at the bottom endenabling us to develop an instrumental variable strategy to study the crime-educationrelationship. At the same time as the education expansion, youth crime fell, revealinga significant cross-cohort relationship between crime and education. The causalcrime reducing effect of education is estimated to be negative and significant, andconsiderably bigger in (absolute) magnitude than ordinary least squares estimates.The education boost also significantly impacted other productivity related economicvariables (qualification attainment and wages), demonstrating that the incapacitationeffect of additional 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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References

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  1. Paul J Devereux & Wen Fan, 2011. "Earnings Returns to the British Education Expansion," Working Papers 201111, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  2. Grogger, Jeff, 1998. "Market Wages and Youth Crime," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(4), pages 756-91, October.
  3. Devereux, Paul J & Hart, Robert A, 2008. "Forced to be Rich? Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Britain," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2008-02, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
  4. Stephen Machin & Costas Meghir, 2004. "Crime and Economic Incentives," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(4).
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Lance Lochner, 2004. "Education, Work, and Crime: A Human Capital Approach," NBER Working Papers 10478, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Hjalmarsson, Randi, 2008. "Criminal justice involvement and high school completion," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 613-630, March.
  13. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Nordin , Martin, 2014. "Does Eligibility for Tertiary Education Affect Crime Rates? Quasi-Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 2014:14, Lund University, Department of Economics.
  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. Brugård, Kaja Høiseth & Falch, Torberg, 2013. "Post-compulsory education and imprisonment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 97-106.
  4. 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.
  5. repec:tir:wpaper:50 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Ignacio Munyo, . "The Juvenile Crime Dilemma," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics.

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