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The effect of education policy on crime: an intergenerational perspective

  • Meghir, Costas


    (Department of Economics, University College London)

  • Palme, Mårten


    (Department of Economics, Stockholm University)

  • Schnabel, Marieke


    (Department of Economics, University College London)

A number of studies have shown that education reforms extending compulsory schooling reduce criminal behavior of those affected by the reform. We consider the effects of a major Swedish educational reform on crime by exploiting its staggered implementation across Sweden. We first show that the reform reduced crime rates for the generation directly affected by the reform. We then show that the benefits extended to the next generation with large reductions in the crime rates of the children of those affected. The effect operates only through the father and points in the direction of improved parenting rather than resources.

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Paper provided by IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy in its series Working Paper Series with number 2011:20.

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Length: 57 pages
Date of creation: 23 Nov 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2011_020
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  1. Flavio Cunha & James Heckman & Susanne Schennach, 2010. "Estimating the technology of cognitive and noncognitive skill formation," CeMMAP working papers CWP09/10, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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  3. Holmlund, Helena, 2007. "A Researcher's Guide to the Swedish Compulsory School Reform," Working Paper Series 9/2007, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
  4. Claudia Goldin, 1999. "Egalitarianism and the Returns to Education during the Great Transformation of American Education," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S65-S94, December.
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  8. Costas Meghir & Mårten Palme, 2003. "Ability, parental background and educational policy: empirical evidence from a social experiment," IFS Working Papers W03/05, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  9. 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.
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  11. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro & Flavio Cunha, 2004. "The Technology of Skill Formation," 2004 Meeting Papers 681, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  12. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2003. "Are Idle Hands the Devil's Workshop? Incapacitation, Concentration and Juvenile Crime," NBER Working Papers 9653, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  18. Richard B. Freeman, 1996. "Why Do So Many Young American Men Commit Crimes and What Might We Do About It?," NBER Working Papers 5451, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Jenny Williams & Robin C. Sickles, 2002. "An Analysis of the Crime as Work Model: Evidence from the 1958 Philadelphia Birth Cohort Study," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(3), pages 479-509.
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  25. 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.
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