IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/8646.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Effect of Education on Criminal Convictions and Incarceration: Causal Evidence from Micro-data

Author

Listed:
  • Hjalmarsson, Randi
  • Holmlund, Helena
  • Lindquist, Matthew

Abstract

This paper studies the causal effect of educational attainment on conviction and incarceration using Sweden's compulsory schooling reform as an instrument for years of schooling and a 25 percent random sample from Sweden's Multigenerational Register matched with more than 30 years of administrative crime records. The first stage of the analysis employs a differences-in-differences design to account for the non-random implementation of the reform across municipalities, and finds that exposure to the reform increased average educational attainment by 0.28 years for males and 0.16 years for females. Our 2SLS estimates indicate that more schooling has a significant negative effect on convictions and incarceration at both the extensive and intensive margins. These effects are generally seen for both males and females. Specifically, one additional year of schooling decreases the likelihood of incarceration by 16 percent for males and the likelihood of conviction by 7.5 and 11 percent for males and females, respectively. In addition, we find that the effect of education on crime persists across birth cohorts, throughout the life cycle, and across crime categories.

Suggested Citation

  • Hjalmarsson, Randi & Holmlund, Helena & Lindquist, Matthew, 2011. "The Effect of Education on Criminal Convictions and Incarceration: Causal Evidence from Micro-data," CEPR Discussion Papers 8646, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8646
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=8646
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Holmlund, Helena, 2007. "A Researcher's Guide to the Swedish Compulsory School Reform," Working Paper Series 9/2007, Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
    3. Stephen Machin & Olivier Marie & Sunčica Vujić, 2011. "The Crime Reducing Effect of Education," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(552), pages 463-484, May.
    4. Meghir, Costas & Palme, Mårten & Schnabel, Marieke, 2011. "The Effect of Education Policy on Crime: An Intergenerational Perspective," IZA Discussion Papers 6142, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Randi Hjalmarsson & Matthew J. Lindquist, 2012. "Like Godfather, Like Son: Exploring the Intergenerational Nature of Crime," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(2), pages 550-582.
    6. Costas Meghir & Mårten Palme, 1999. "Assessing the effect of schooling on earnings using a social experiment," IFS Working Papers W99/10, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    7. 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.
    8. Thomas J. Kane & Cecilia Elena Rouse & Douglas Staiger, 1999. "Estimating Returns to Schooling When Schooling is Misreported," NBER Working Papers 7235, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), 1999. "Handbook of Labor Economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 3, number 3, December.
    10. Lance Lochner, 2004. "Education, Work, And Crime: A Human Capital Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(3), pages 811-843, August.
    11. Costas Meghir & Mårten Palme, 2005. "Educational Reform, Ability, and Family Background," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 414-424, March.
    12. Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2005. "The Relationship Between Education and Adult Mortality in the United States," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 189-221.
    13. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863, Elsevier.
    14. 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.
    15. Paolo Buonanno & Leone Leonida, 2006. "Education and crime: evidence from Italian regions," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(11), pages 709-713.
    16. Philip Oreopoulos & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2009. "How large are returns to schooling? Hint: Money isn't everything," NBER Working Papers 15339, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Costas Meghir & Mårten Palme, 2001. "The effect of a social experiment in education," IFS Working Papers W01/11, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    18. Lance Lochner, 2010. "Education Policy and Crime," NBER Chapters, in: Controlling Crime: Strategies and Tradeoffs, pages 465-515, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Grönqvist, Hans, 2011. "Youth Unemployment and Crime: New Lessons Exploring Longitudinal Register Data," Working Paper Series 7/2011, Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
    20. Thomas J. Kane & Cecilia Rouse & Douglas Staiger, 1999. "Estimating Returns to Schooling When Schooling is Misreported," Working Papers 798, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    21. Luallen, Jeremy, 2006. "School's out... forever: A study of juvenile crime, at-risk youths and teacher strikes," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 75-103, January.
    22. Hjalmarsson, Randi, 2008. "Criminal justice involvement and high school completion," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 613-630, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Tony Beatton & Michael P. Kidd & Matteo Sandi, 2020. "School indiscipline and crime," CEP Discussion Papers dp1727, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    2. Lance Lochner, 2010. "Education Policy and Crime," NBER Chapters, in: Controlling Crime: Strategies and Tradeoffs, pages 465-515, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Md. Abdur Rahman Forhad, 2021. "Minimum Dropout Age and Juvenile Crime in the USA," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 47(3), pages 378-405, June.
    4. Shannon Ward & Jenny Williams, 2015. "Does Juvenile Delinquency Reduce Educational Attainment?," Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 12(4), pages 716-756, December.
    5. Åslund, Olof & Grönqvist, Hans & Hall, Caroline & Vlachos, Jonas, 2018. "Education and criminal behavior: Insights from an expansion of upper secondary school," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 178-192.
    6. Nordin , Martin, 2014. "Does Eligibility for Tertiary Education Affect Crime Rates? Quasi-Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 2014:14, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    7. Ward, Shannon & Williams, Jenny & van Ours, Jan C., 2015. "Bad Behavior: Delinquency, Arrest and Early School Leaving," IZA Discussion Papers 9248, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Stephen Machin & Olivier Marie & Sunčica Vujić, 2011. "The Crime Reducing Effect of Education," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(552), pages 463-484, May.
    9. Bennett, Patrick, 2018. "The heterogeneous effects of education on crime: Evidence from Danish administrative twin data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 160-177.
    10. Meghir, Costas & Palme, Mårten & Schnabel, Marieke, 2011. "The Effect of Education Policy on Crime: An Intergenerational Perspective," IZA Discussion Papers 6142, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Randi Hjalmarsson & Lance Lochner, 2012. "The Impact of Education on Crime: International Evidence," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 10(2), pages 49-55, 08.
    12. Campaniello, Nadia & Gray, Rowena & Mastrobuoni, Giovanni, 2016. "Returns to education in criminal organizations: Did going to college help Michael Corleone?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 242-258.
    13. James Ades & Jyoti Mishra, 2021. "Education and Crime across America: Inequity’s Cost," Social Sciences, MDPI, vol. 10(8), pages 1-22, July.
    14. Rud, I & Van Klaveren, C. & Groot, W. and Maassen van den Brink, H., 2013. "Education and Youth Crime: a Review of the Empirical Literature," Working Papers 48, Top Institute for Evidence Based Education Research.
    15. Strauss, Jack, 2013. "The Economic Gains to Colorado of Amendment 66," MPRA Paper 49928, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Hjalmarsson, Randi & Lindquist, Matthew J., 2018. "Labour economics and crime," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 147-148.
    17. repec:tir:wpaper:50 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Brian Bell & Rui Costa & Stephen Machin, 2015. "Crime, Compulsory Schooling Laws and Education," CEP Discussion Papers dp1374, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    19. 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.
    20. Cabus, Sofie J. & De Witte, Kristof, 2011. "Does school time matter?—On the impact of compulsory education age on school dropout," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1384-1398.
    21. Aoki, Yu, 2014. "More Schooling, Less Youth Crime? Learning from an Earthquake in Japan," IZA Discussion Papers 8619, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    crime; education; school reform;
    All these keywords.

    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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8646. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://www.cepr.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://www.cepr.org .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.