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Rethinking the crime reducing effect of education? Mechanisms and evidence from regional divides

Author

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  • Ylenia Brilli

    () (European University Institute)

  • Marco Tonello

    () (Bank of Italy)

Abstract

We estimate the contemporaneous effect of education on adolescent crime by exploiting the variation in crime rates between different cohorts and at different ages that followed a reform that raised the school-leaving age in Italy. A 1 percentage-point increase of the enrollment rate reduces adolescent crime by 1.3 per cent in the North of Italy but increases it by 3.9 per cent in the South. The crime-reducing effect depends mainly on incapacitation (i.e. adolescents stay in school instead of on the street); the crime-increasing effect is consistent with a channel of criminal capital accumulation, operating through social interactions and organized-crime networks.

Suggested Citation

  • Ylenia Brilli & Marco Tonello, 2015. "Rethinking the crime reducing effect of education? Mechanisms and evidence from regional divides," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1008, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_1008_15
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Franz Westermaier, 2016. "The Impact of Lengthening the School Day on Substance Abuse and Crime: Evidence from a German High School Reform," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1616, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    2. Marina Cavalieri & Massimo Finocchiaro Castro & Calogero Guccio, 2020. "Does the Fish Rot from the Head? Organised Crime and Educational Outcomes in Southern Italy," Working papers 97, Società Italiana di Economia Pubblica.
    3. Erica Raimondi & Loris Vergolini, 2017. "‘Everyone in School’: The Effects of Compulsory Schooling Age on Drop-out and Completion Rates," FBK-IRVAPP Working Papers 2017-05, Research Institute for the Evaluation of Public Policies (IRVAPP), Bruno Kessler Foundation.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    adolescent crime; school enrollment; incapacitation; human capital;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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