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Youth Crime and Education Expansion

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  • Machin, Stephen

    (London School of Economics)

  • Marie, Olivier

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

  • Vujic, Suncica

    (University of Antwerp)

Abstract

We present new evidence on the causal impact of education on crime, by considering a large expansion of the UK post-compulsory education system that occurred in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The education expansion raised education levels across the whole education distribution and, in particular for our analysis, at the bottom end enabling us to develop an instrumental variable strategy to study the crime-education relationship. At the same time as the education expansion, youth crime fell, revealing a significant cross-cohort relationship between crime and education. The causal crime reducing effect of education is estimated to be negative and significant, and considerably bigger in (absolute) magnitude than ordinary least squares estimates. The education boost also significantly impacted other productivity related economic variables (qualification attainment and wages), demonstrating that the incapacitation effect of additional time spent in school is not the sole driver of the results.

Suggested Citation

  • Machin, Stephen & Marie, Olivier & Vujic, Suncica, 2012. "Youth Crime and Education Expansion," IZA Discussion Papers 6582, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6582
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    Cited by:

    1. van Ours, Jan C. & Ward, Shannon & Williams, Jenny, 2015. "Bad Behavior: Delinquency, Arrest and Early School Leaving," CEPR Discussion Papers 10755, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. van der Steeg, Marc & van Elk, Roel & Webbink, Dinand, 2015. "Does intensive coaching reduce school dropout? Evidence from a randomized experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 184-197.
    3. Nguyen, Hieu T.M., 2019. "Do more educated neighbourhoods experience less property crime? Evidence from Indonesia," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 27-37.
    4. repec:tir:wpaper:50 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. James, Jonathan & Vujić, Sunčica, 2019. "From high school to the high chair: Education and fertility timing," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 1-24.
    6. Ignacio Munyo, 2015. "The Juvenile Crime Dilemma," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(2), pages 201-211, April.
    7. 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.
    8. Pengfei Jia & King Yoong Lim, 2021. "The stabilization role of police spending in a neo‐Keynesian economy with credit market imperfections," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 68(1), pages 103-125, February.
    9. Janke, Katharina & Johnston, David W. & Propper, Carol & Shields, Michael A., 2020. "The causal effect of education on chronic health conditions in the UK," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C).
    10. Nikhil Jha, 2021. "No time for crime? The effect of compulsory engagement on youth crime," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 100(6), pages 1571-1597, December.
    11. Bebonchu Atems, 2020. "Identifying the Dynamic Effects of Income Inequality on Crime," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 82(4), pages 751-782, August.
    12. Lastauskas, Povilas & Tatsi, Eirini, 2017. "Spatial Nexus in Crime and Unemployment in Times of Crisis," Working Paper Series 2/2017, Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
    13. James, Jonathan, 2015. "Health and education expansion," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 193-215.
    14. Brutti, Zelda & Montolio, Daniel, 2021. "Preventing criminal minds: Early education access and adult offending behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 191(C), pages 97-126.
    15. Janke, Katharina & Johnston, David W. & Propper, Carol & Shields, Michael A., 2018. "The Causal Effect of Education on Chronic Health Conditions," IZA Discussion Papers 11353, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. Marc van der Steeg & Roel van Elk & Dinand Webbink, 2012. "Does intensive coaching reduce school dropout?," CPB Discussion Paper 224, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    17. Gray, Daniel & Montagnoli, Alberto & Moro, Mirko, 2021. "Does education improve financial behaviors? Quasi-experimental evidence from Britain," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 183(C), pages 481-507.
    18. Nordin , Martin, 2014. "Does Eligibility for Tertiary Education Affect Crime Rates? Quasi-Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 2014:14, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    19. 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.
    20. Lindgren, Karl-Oskar & Oskarsson, Sven & Persson, Mikael, 2016. "How does access to education influence political candidacy? Lessons from school openings in Sweden," Working Paper Series 2016:7, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    21. Brugård, Kaja Høiseth & Falch, Torberg, 2013. "Post-compulsory education and imprisonment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 97-106.
    22. Aoki, Yu, 2014. "More Schooling, Less Youth Crime? Learning from an Earthquake in Japan," IZA Discussion Papers 8619, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    23. Liu, Xingfei & Wang, Chuhong & Yan, Zizhong & Zhao, Yi, 2022. "Higher Education Expansion and Crime: New Evidence from China," Working Papers 2022-2, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    education expansion; youth crime;

    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

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