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Youth Crime and Education Expansion

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  • Machin, Stephen

    ()
    (University College London)

  • Marie, Olivier

    ()
    (Maastricht University)

  • Vujić, Sunčica

    ()
    (University of Bath)

Abstract

We present new evidence on the causal impact of education on crime, by considering a large expansion of the UK post-compulsory education system that occurred in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The education expansion raised education levels across the whole education distribution and, in particular for our analysis, at the bottom end enabling us to develop an instrumental variable strategy to study the crime-education relationship. At the same time as the education expansion, youth crime fell, revealing a significant cross-cohort relationship between crime and education. The causal crime reducing effect of education is estimated to be negative and significant, and considerably bigger in (absolute) magnitude than ordinary least squares estimates. The education boost also significantly impacted other productivity related economic variables (qualification attainment and wages), demonstrating that the incapacitation effect of additional time spent in school is not the sole driver of the results.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6582.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: May 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: German Economic Review (Special Issue on Economics of Crime), 2012, 13, 366-84
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6582

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Keywords: youth crime; education expansion;

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References

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  1. Paul J. Devereux & Robert A. Hart, 2009. "Forced to be Rich? Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Britain," Working Papers, Geary Institute, University College Dublin 200940, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  2. 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.
  3. Grogger, Jeff, 1998. "Market Wages and Youth Crime," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(4), pages 756-91, October.
  4. Machin Stephen & Marie Olivier & Vujić Sunčica, 2010. "The Crime Reducing Effect of Education," Research Memorandum, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR) 061, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  5. 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.
  6. Steve Machin & Costas Meghir, 2000. "Crime and economic incentives," IFS Working Papers, Institute for Fiscal Studies W00/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  7. 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.
  8. Oreopoulos, Philip, 2007. "Do dropouts drop out too soon? Wealth, health and happiness from compulsory schooling," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 91(11-12), pages 2213-2229, December.
  9. Lance Lochner, 2011. "Non-Production Benefits of Education: Crime, Health, and Good Citizenship," NBER Working Papers 16722, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Paul J Devereux & Wen Fan, 2011. "Earnings Returns to the British Education Expansion," Working Papers, School Of Economics, University College Dublin 201111, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  11. Jo Blanden & Stephen Machin, 2013. "Educational Inequality and The Expansion of UK Higher Education," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 60(5), pages 578-596, November.
  12. Steven D. Levitt & Lance Lochner, 2001. "The Determinants of Juvenile Crime," NBER Chapters, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, in: Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis, pages 327-374 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(3), pages 811-843, 08.
  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. 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.
  2. repec:tir:wpaper:50 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Ignacio Munyo, . "The Juvenile Crime Dilemma," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Brugård, Kaja Høiseth & Falch, Torberg, 2013. "Post-compulsory education and imprisonment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 97-106.
  5. Marc van der Steeg & Roel van Elk & Dinand Webbink, 2012. "Does intensive coaching reduce school dropout?," CPB Discussion Paper, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis 224, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  6. Nordin , Martin, 2014. "Does Eligibility for Tertiary Education Affect Crime Rates? Quasi-Experimental Evidence," Working Papers, Lund University, Department of Economics 2014:14, Lund University, Department of Economics.

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