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Lost Boys: Access to Secondary Education and Crime

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  • Huttunen, Kristiina
  • Pekkarinen, Tuomas
  • Uusitalo, Roope
  • Virtanen, Hanna

Abstract

We study the effect of post-compulsory education on crime by exploiting a regression discontinuity design generated by admission cut-offs to upper secondary schools in Finland. We combine data on school applications with data on criminal convictions and follow individuals for 10 years. Our results show that successful applicants are less likely to commit crimes during the first five years after admission. Crime is reduced both during and outside the school year, indicating that the channel through which schooling affects crime cannot be explained by incapacitation alone. We find no effect on crime committed after 6 years from admission.

Suggested Citation

  • Huttunen, Kristiina & Pekkarinen, Tuomas & Uusitalo, Roope & Virtanen, Hanna, 2018. "Lost Boys: Access to Secondary Education and Crime," Working Papers 114, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:fer:wpaper:114
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Erik Hanushek & Stephen Machin & Ludger Woessmann (ed.), 2011. "Handbook of the Economics of Education," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 4, number 4.
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    8. Brian Bell & Rui Costa & Stephen Machin, 2022. "Why Does Education Reduce Crime?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 130(3), pages 732-765.
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    11. Lance Lochner, 2010. "Non-Production Benefits of Education: Crime, Health and Good Citizenship," University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP) Working Papers 20107, University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP).
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    Cited by:

    1. Silliman, Mikko & Virtanen, Hanna, 2019. "Labor Market Returns to Vocational Secondary Education," ETLA Working Papers 65, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    crime; education; school admission; incapacitation; human capital; Labour markets and education; K42; I2;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

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

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