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Education and Crime over the Life Cycle

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Author Info

  • Giulio Fella

    ()
    (Queen Mary, University of London)

  • Giovanni Gallipoli

    ()
    (University of British Columbia)

Abstract

In this paper we ask whether policies targeting a reduction in crime rates through changes in education outcomes can be considered an effective and cost-viable alternative to interventions based on harsher punishment alone. In particular we study the effect of subsidizing high school completion. Most econometric studies of the impact of crime policies ignore equilibrium effects and are often reduced-form. This paper provides a framework within which to study the equilibrium impact of alternative policies. We develop an overlapping generation, life-cycle model with endogenous education and crime choices. Education and crime depend on different dimensions of heterogeneity, which takes the form of differences in innate ability and wealth at birth as well as employment shocks. PSID, NIPA and CPS data are used to estimate the parameters of a production function with different types of human capital and to approximate a distribution of permanent heterogeneity. These estimates are used to pin down some of the model's parameters. The model is calibrated to match education enrolments, aggregate (property) crime rate and some features of the wealth distribution. In our numerical experiments we find that policies targeting crime reduction through increases in high school graduation rates are more cost-effective than simple incapacitation policies. Furthermore, the cost-effectiveness of high school subsidies increases significantly if they are targeted at the wealth poor. We also find that financial incentives to high school graduation have radically different implications in general and partial equilibrium (i.e. the scale of the programmes can substantially change its outcomes).

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Queen Mary, University of London, School of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers with number 630.

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Date of creation: Jul 2008
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Handle: RePEc:qmw:qmwecw:wp630

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Keywords: Crime; Education; Subsidies;

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References

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  1. Donghoon Lee & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2004. "Intersectoral Labor Mobility and the Growth of the Service Sector," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-036, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  2. Lance Lochner & Enrico Moretti, 2004. "The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self-Reports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 155-189, March.
  3. Freeman, Richard B., 1999. "The economics of crime," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 52, pages 3529-3571 Elsevier.
  4. 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.
  5. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Grogger, Jeff, 1998. "Market Wages and Youth Crime," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(4), pages 756-91, October.
  7. Ayse Imrohoroglu & Antonio Merlo & Peter Rupert, 1996. "On the political economy of income redistribution and crime," Staff Report 216, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  8. Steve Machin & Costas Meghir, 2000. "Crime and economic incentives," IFS Working Papers W00/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  9. Edward N. Wolff, 2000. "Recent Trends in Wealth Ownership, 1983-1998," Macroeconomics 0004047, EconWPA.
  10. Marco Cozzi, 2005. "Black-White Labour Market Conditions and Property Crime in the US: A Quantitative Analysis," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 339, Society for Computational Economics.
  11. James Heckman & Lance Lochner & Christopher Taber, 1998. "Explaining Rising Wage Inequality: Explanations With A Dynamic General Equilibrium Model of Labor Earnings With Heterogeneous Agents," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(1), pages 1-58, January.
  12. Antonio Merlo, 2001. "The Research Agenda: Dynamic Model of Crime and Punishment," EconomicDynamics Newsletter, Review of Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(2), April.
  13. David Domeij & Jonathan Heathcote, 2004. "On The Distributional Effects Of Reducing Capital Taxes," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(2), pages 523-554, 05.
  14. Jonathan Heathcote & Kjetil Storesletten & Giovanni L. Violante, 2008. "The Macroeconomic Implications of Rising Wage Inequality in the United States," NBER Working Papers 14052, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. 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.
  16. 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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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Education & crime
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2008-07-23 13:50:49
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Cited by:
  1. Giulio Fella, 2011. "A Generalized Endogenous Grid Method for Non-concave Problems," Working Papers 677, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  2. Fougère, Denis & Kramarz, Francis & Pouget, Julien, 2006. "Youth Unemployment and Crime in France," IZA Discussion Papers 2009, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Costas Meghir, 2006. "Dynamic models for policy evaluation," IFS Working Papers W06/08, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  4. Antonio Merlo & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2008. "The Transition from School to Jail: Youth Crime and High School Completion Among Black Males," PIER Working Paper Archive 08-033, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  5. Meghir, Costas & Palme, Mårten & Schnabel, Marieke, 2011. "The Effect of Education Policy on Crime: An Intergenerational Perspective," Research Papers in Economics 2011:23, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  6. Pietro Vertova, 2011. "Prison Conditions and Recidivism," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(1), pages 103-130.
  7. Steve Brito & Ana Corbacho & Rene Osorio Rivas, 2014. "Remittances and the Impact on Crime in Mexico," IDB Publications 85093, Inter-American Development Bank.
  8. Antonio Merlo & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2008. "The Transition from School to Jail: Youth Crime and High School Completion Among Black Males, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 09-002, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 16 Jan 2009.

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