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Why are criminals less educated than non-criminals? Evidence from a cohort of young Australian twins

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  • Dinand Webbink

    ()

  • Pierre Koning

    ()

  • Suncica Vujic
  • N. Martin

Abstract

This paper investigates the question whether crime reduces investment in human capital or whether education reduces criminal activity by using fixed effect estimation on data of Australian twins. The study takes genetic and socio-economic factors shared by the twins into account.�We find that early arrests (before the age of 18) have a strong effect on human capital accumulation. In addition, we find that education decreases crime. However, controlling for early arrests and early behaviour problems reduces the estimated effect of human capital on crime to less than on third of the previously estimated association. From this, we conclude that the strong association between human capital and crime is mainly driven by the effect of early criminal behaviour on educational attainment. The strong detrimental effects of early criminal behaviour become also transparent if we consider the estimated effects of early arrests on three measures of crime. We also find large effects of early criminal behaviour on participation in crime later on. This suggests that programs that succeed in preventing early criminal behaviour might yield high social and private returns.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis in its series CPB Discussion Paper with number 114.

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Date of creation: Nov 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cpb:discus:114

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  1. Lance Lochner, 2004. "Education, Work, and Crime: A Human Capital Approach," NBER Working Papers 10478, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Lance Lochner & Enrico Moretti, 2001. "The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self-Reports," NBER Working Papers 8605, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jason Fletcher & Barbara L. Wolfe, 2007. "Child Mental Health and Human Capital Accumulation: The Case of ADHD Revisited," NBER Working Papers 13474, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Suncica Vujic & Pierre Koning & Dinand Webbink & N. Martin, 2008. "The effect of childhood conduct disorder on human capital," CPB Discussion Paper 113, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
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  7. Currie, Janet & Stabile, Mark, 2006. "Child mental health and human capital accumulation: The case of ADHD," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 1094-1118, November.
  8. Richard B. Freeman, 1996. "Why Do So Many Young American Men Commit Crimes and What Might We Do about It?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 25-42, Winter.
  9. Anh T. Le & Paul W. Miller & Andrew C. Heath & Nick Martin, 2004. "Early Childhood Behaviours, Schooling and Labour Market Outcomes: Estimates from a Sample of Twins," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 04-02, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
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  13. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro, 2003. "Human Capital Policy," NBER Working Papers 9495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Miller, Paul W & Mulvey, Charles & Martin, Nick, 1995. "What Do Twins Studies Reveal about the Economic Returns to Education? A Comparison of Australian and U.S. Findings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 586-99, June.
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  16. Griliches, Zvi, 1979. "Sibling Models and Data in Economics: Beginnings of a Survey," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages S37-64, October.
  17. Borghans Lex & Meijers Huub & Weel Bas ter, 2006. "The Role of Noncognitive Skills in Explaining Cognitive Test Scores," ROA Research Memorandum 006, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  18. Donohue, John J, III & Siegelman, Peter, 1998. "Allocating Resources among Prisons and Social Programs in the Battle against Crime," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 1-43, January.
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  20. Bound, John & Solon, Gary, 1999. "Double trouble: on the value of twins-based estimation of the return to schooling," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 169-182, April.
  21. Miller, Paul & Mulvey, Charles & Martin, Nick, 2006. "The return to schooling: Estimates from a sample of young Australian twins," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(5), pages 571-587, October.
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  1. Crime and education
    by UDADISI in UDADISI on 2013-03-04 14:12:00
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Cited by:
  1. 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.

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