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The Effect of Education Policy on Crime: An Intergenerational Perspective

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Author Info

  • Meghir, Costas

    ()
    (Yale University and University College London)

  • Palme, Mårten

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University)

  • Schnabel, Marieke

    ()
    (University College London)

Abstract

The Swedish comprehensive school reform implied an extension of the number of years of compulsory school from 7 or 8 to 9 for the entire nation and was implemented as a social experiment by municipality between 1949 and 1962. A previous study (Meghir and Palme, 2005) has shown that this reform significantly increased the number of years of schooling as well as labor earnings of the children who went through the post reform school system, in particular for individuals originating from homes with low educated fathers. This study estimates the impact of the reform on criminal behavior: both within the generation directly affected by the reform as well as their children. We use census data on all born in Sweden between 1945 and 1955 and all their children merged with individual register data on all convictions between 1981 and 2008. We find that the educational reform decreased crime substantially for men who were directly affected by it. We also find that the crime rate declined for the sons of those fathers directly affected by the new educational system; we interpret this results as implying that improved education increased resource and parenting quality, leading to improved child outcomes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Stockholm University, Department of Economics in its series Research Papers in Economics with number 2011:23.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: 19 May 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:sunrpe:2011_0023

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Postal: Department of Economics, Stockholm, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46 8 16 20 00
Fax: +46 8 16 14 25
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Web page: http://www.ne.su.se/
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Keywords: Comprehensive school; economics of crime; returns to education; returns to human capital;

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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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Mike Brewer & Monica Costa Dias & Jonathan Shaw, 2012. "Lifetime inequality and redistribution," IFS Working Papers W12/23, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  2. Rud, I. & Van Klaveren, C. & Groot, W. and Maassen van den Brink, H., 2012. "The externalities of crime: The effect of criminal involvement of parents on the educational attainment of their children," Working Papers 44, Top Institute for Evidence Based Education Research.
  3. Randi Hjalmarsson & Lance Lochner, 2012. "The Impact of Education on Crime: International Evidence," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 10(2), pages 49-55, 08.
  4. Hjalmarsson, Randi & Lindquist, Matthew J., 2013. "The origins of intergenerational associations in crime: Lessons from Swedish adoption data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 68-81.
  5. Grönqvist, Hans & Niknami, Susan, 2014. "Alcohol availability and crime: Lessons from liberalized weekend sales restrictions," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 77-84.
  6. Brugård, Kaja Høiseth & Falch, Torberg, 2013. "Post-compulsory education and imprisonment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 97-106.
  7. Ignacio Munyo, . "The Juvenile Crime Dilemma," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics.

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