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The Effect of Degree Attainment on Arrests: Evidence from a Randomized Social Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Amin, Vikesh

    (Central Michigan University)

  • Flores, Carlos A.

    (California Polytechnic State University)

  • Flores-Lagunes, Alfonso

    (Syracuse University)

  • Parisian, Daniel J.

    (Mississippi State University)

Abstract

We examine the effect of educational attainment on criminal behavior using random assignment into Job Corps (JC) – the United States' largest education and vocational training program for disadvantaged youth – as a source of exogenous variability in educational attainment. We allow such random assignment to violate the exclusion restriction when used as an instrument by employing nonparametric bounds. The attainment of a degree is estimated to reduce arrest rates by at most 11.8 percentage points (about 32.6%). We also find suggestive evidence that the effects may be larger for males relative to females, and larger for black males relative to white males. Remarkably, our 95 percent confidence intervals on the causal effect of education on arrests are very similar to the corresponding confidence intervals on the same effect from studies exploiting changes in compulsory schooling laws as an instrumental variable in the estimation of the effect of education on arrest rates (e.g., Lochner and Moretti, 2004).

Suggested Citation

  • Amin, Vikesh & Flores, Carlos A. & Flores-Lagunes, Alfonso & Parisian, Daniel J., 2016. "The Effect of Degree Attainment on Arrests: Evidence from a Randomized Social Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 9695, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9695
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
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    3. Jonneke Bolhaar & Sander Gerritsen & Sonny Kuijpers & Karen van der Wiel, 2019. "Experimenting with dropout prevention policies," CPB Discussion Paper 400, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    4. Jonneke Bolhaar & Sander Gerritsen & Sonny Kuijpers & Karen van der Wiel, 2019. "Experimenting with dropout prevention policies," CPB Discussion Paper 400.rdf, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    crime; arrests; degree attainment; social experiments;
    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

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