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Education as a Deterrent to Crime

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  • Dan Usher

Abstract

Education conveys a civic externality, a benefit to society over and above the benefit to the student in enhancing his future earning power. Students are taught not only to be productive but to be law abiding and loyal to their country. The civic externality is incorporated into an 'anarchy' model where people choose to be farmers or bandits, and schooling inculcates a distaste for a life of crime. Estimates of the return to education are biased down when the civic externality is overlooked. Public schooling can sometimes convey public benefits that private schooling, even with a voucher scheme, cannot.

Suggested Citation

  • Dan Usher, 1997. "Education as a Deterrent to Crime," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 30(2), pages 367-384, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:30:y:1997:i:2:p:367-84
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