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Risky behavior among youth: Incapacitation effects of school on adolescent motherhood and crime in Chile

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  • Berthelon, Matias E.
  • Kruger, Diana I.

Abstract

We analyze the effect of a Chilean school reform that lengthened the school day from half to full-day shifts on the likelihood that adolescents engage in risky behaviors. By increasing the number of hours spent in school, the reform curtails opportunities to engage in risky behaviors that may lead to motherhood and crime. We exploit the exogenous time and regional variations of the reform's implementation to identify the effects of adult supervision on the likelihood that adolescent girls become mothers, and on municipal juvenile crime rates. We find that access to full-day schools reduces the probability of becoming an adolescent mother among poor families and in urban areas, and that the reform reduced youth crime.

Suggested Citation

  • Berthelon, Matias E. & Kruger, Diana I., 2011. "Risky behavior among youth: Incapacitation effects of school on adolescent motherhood and crime in Chile," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 41-53.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:95:y:2011:i:1:p:41-53
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2010.09.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dante Contreras & Paulina Sepúlveda C. & Soledad Cabrera, 2010. "The effects of lengthening the school day on female labor supply: Evidence from a quasi-experiment in Chile," Working Papers wp323, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
    2. Francisco Gallego, 2002. "Competencia y Resultados Educativos: Teoría y Evidencia para Chile," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 39(118), pages 309-352.
    3. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2003. "Are Idle Hands the Devil's Workshop? Incapacitation, Concentration, and Juvenile Crime," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1560-1577, December.
    4. 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.
    5. Kenneth Y. Chay & Patrick J. McEwan & Miguel Urquiola, 2005. "The Central Role of Noise in Evaluating Interventions That Use Test Scores to Rank Schools," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1237-1258, September.
    6. José Miguel Benavente & Emerson Melo, 2006. "Determinantes Socioeconómicos de la Criminalidad en Chile durante los Noventa," Working Papers wp223, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
    7. Jason M. Fletcher & Barbara L. Wolfe, 2009. "Education and Labor Market Consequences of Teenage Childbearing: Evidence Using the Timing of Pregnancy Outcomes and Community Fixed Effects," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(2).
    8. Lance Lochner, 2010. "Education Policy and Crime," NBER Chapters,in: Controlling Crime: Strategies and Tradeoffs, pages 465-515 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. McEwan, Patrick J., 2003. "Peer effects on student achievement: evidence from Chile," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 131-141, April.
    10. Chumacero, Romulo & Gómez Caorsi, Daniel & Paredes, Ricardo, 2008. "I would walk 500 miles (if it paid)," MPRA Paper 15125, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Dec 2008.
    11. Hsieh, Chang-Tai & Urquiola, Miguel, 2006. "The effects of generalized school choice on achievement and stratification: Evidence from Chile's voucher program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1477-1503, September.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Risky behavior; Incapacitation; School day reform; Adolescent motherhood; Juvenile crime; Chile;

    JEL classification:

    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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