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Post-compulsory education and imprisonment


  • Brugård, Kaja Høiseth
  • Falch, Torberg


This paper studies the causal relationship between education and crime. Using Norwegian register data, we estimate the effect of a post-compulsory high school education on imprisonment for young adults. The identification in the instrumental variables model is based on variation in the supply of school slots across school districts and neighborhoods. We find that the number of semesters in high school education has a strong diminishing effect on imprisonment. The effect is robust to model specification, but seems to be related to prior skills.

Suggested Citation

  • Brugård, Kaja Høiseth & Falch, Torberg, 2013. "Post-compulsory education and imprisonment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 97-106.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:23:y:2013:i:c:p:97-106
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2013.05.001

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. David J. Deming, 2011. "Better Schools, Less Crime?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 2063-2115.
    7. Falch, Torberg & Strøm, Bjarne, 2013. "Schools, ability, and the socioeconomic gradient in education choices," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 49-59.
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    10. Denis Fougère & Francis Kramarz & Julien Pouget, 2009. "Youth Unemployment and Crime in France," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(5), pages 909-938, September.
    11. 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.
    12. Randi Hjalmarsson & Helena Holmlund & Matthew J. Lindquist, 2015. "The Effect of Education on Criminal Convictions and Incarceration: Causal Evidence from Micro‐data," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(587), pages 1290-1326, September.
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    15. Ehrlich, Isaac, 1975. "The Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment: A Question of Life and Death," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 397-417, June.
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    17. Mirko Draca & Stephen Machin, 2015. "Crime and Economic Incentives," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 7(1), pages 389-408, August.
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    19. Pedro Carneiro & Claire Crawford & Alissa Goodman, 2007. "The Impact of Early Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills on Later Outcomes," CEE Discussion Papers 0092, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
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    Cited by:

    1. Aslund, Olof & Grönqvist, Hans & Hall, Caroline & Vlachos, Jonas, 2015. "Education and Criminal Behavior: Insights from an Expansion of Upper Secondary School," IZA Discussion Papers 9374, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).


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