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The Effect of Education Policy on Crime: An Intergenerational Perspective

  • Costas Meghir
  • Mårten Palme
  • Marieke Schnabel

The intergenerational transmission of human capital and the extent to which policy interventions can affect it is an issue of importance. Policies are often evaluated on either short term outcomes or just in terms of their effect on individuals directly targeted. If such policies shift outcomes across generations their benefits may be much larger than originally thought. We provide evidence on the intergenerational impact of policy by showing that educational reform in Sweden reduced crime rates of the targeted generation and their children by comparable amounts. We attribute these outcomes to improved family resources and to better parenting.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18145.

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Date of creation: Jun 2012
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18145
Note: CH ED LS
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  1. 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.
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  4. 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.
  5. Goldin, Claudia, 1999. "Egalitarianism and the Returns to Education during the Great Transformation of American Education," Scholarly Articles 2623652, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Anders Björklund & Mikael Lindahl & Erik Plug, 2006. "The Origins of Intergenerational Associations: Lessons from Swedish Adoption Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(3), pages 999-1028, 08.
  7. Grogger, Jeff, 1998. "Market Wages and Youth Crime," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(4), pages 756-91, October.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Joseph G. Altonji & Rebecca M. Blank, . "Race and Gender in the Labor Market," IPR working papers 98-18, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
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  12. Machin Stephen & Marie Olivier & Vujić Sunčica, 2010. "The Crime Reducing Effect of Education," Research Memorandum 061, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  13. Helena Holmlund, 2008. "A researcher's guide to the Swedish compulsory school reform," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19382, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  14. Lance Lochner, 2004. "Education, Work, and Crime: A Human Capital Approach," NBER Working Papers 10478, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. Richard B. Freeman, 1996. "Why Do So Many Young American Men Commit Crimes and What Might We Do about It?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 25-42, Winter.
  18. 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.
  19. Hjalmarsson, Randi & Lindquist, Matthew, 2011. "The Origins of Intergenerational Associations in Crime: Lessons from Swedish Adoption Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 8318, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Karin Edmark, 2005. "Unemployment and Crime: Is There a Connection?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 107(2), pages 353-373, 06.
  21. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, August.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
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