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Crime, compulsory schooling laws and educationAuthor-Name: Bell, Brian

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  • Costa, Rui
  • Machin, Stephen

Abstract

Do compulsory schooling laws reduce crime? Previous evidence for the US from the 1960s and 1970s suggests they do, primarily working through their effect on educational attainment to generate a causal impact on crime. In this paper, we consider whether more recent experience replicates this. There are two key findings. First, there is a strong and consistent negative effect on crime from stricter compulsory schooling laws. Second, there is a weaker and sometimes non-existent link between such laws and educational attainment. As a result, credible causal estimates of the education–crime relationship cannot in general be identified for the more recent period, though they can for some groups with lower education levels (in particular, for blacks).

Suggested Citation

  • Costa, Rui & Machin, Stephen, 2016. "Crime, compulsory schooling laws and educationAuthor-Name: Bell, Brian," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 214-226.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:54:y:2016:i:c:p:214-226
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2015.09.007
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:eee:injoed:v:64:y:2019:i:c:p:27-37 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Bell, Brian & Costa, Rui & Machin, Stephen, 2018. "Why Does Education Reduce Crime?," CEPR Discussion Papers 13162, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Sebastian Galiani & Laura Jaitman & Federico Weinschelbaum, 2016. "Crime and Durable Goods," NBER Working Papers 22788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. repec:eee:eecrev:v:109:y:2018:i:c:p:275-288 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Javier Cano-Urbina & Lance Lochner, 2016. "The Effect of Education and School Quality on Female Crime," University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP) Working Papers 20163, University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP).
    6. Bratsberg, Bernt & Hernaes, Øystein & Markussen, Simen & Raaum, Oddbjørn & Røed, Knut, 2018. "Welfare Activation and Youth Crime," IZA Discussion Papers 11719, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. repec:eee:labeco:v:52:y:2018:i:c:p:149-159 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:eee:labeco:v:52:y:2018:i:c:p:160-177 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Crime; Education; Compulsory schooling laws;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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