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The Effect of Education Policy on Crime: An Intergenerational Perspective

  • Meghir, Costas

    ()

    (Yale University)

  • Palme, Mårten

    ()

    (Stockholm University)

  • Schnabel, Marieke

    ()

    (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 Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6142.

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Length: 59 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6142
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  1. 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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  7. Giulio Fella & Giovanni Gallipoli, 2008. "Education and Crime over the Life Cycle," Working Papers 630, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  8. 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.
  9. John J. Donohue & Steven D. Levitt, 1999. "Legalized Abortion and Crime," JCPR Working Papers 104, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  10. 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.
  11. 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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  13. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, October.
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  17. Björklund, Anders & Lindahl, Mikael & Plug, Erik, 2005. "The Origins of Intergenerational Associations: Lessons from Swedish Adoption Data," IZA Discussion Papers 1739, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  18. 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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  21. Costas Meghir & MÃ¥rten Palme, 2003. "Ability, parental background and educational policy: empirical evidence from a social experiment," IFS Working Papers W03/05, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  22. Hunt, Jennifer, 2006. "Do Teen Births Keep American Crime High?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 533-66, October.
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