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The Effect of Education and School Quality on Female Crime

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  • Javier Cano-Urbina
  • Lance Lochner

Abstract

This paper estimates the effects of educational attainment and school quality on crime among American women. Using changes in compulsory schooling laws as instruments, we estimate significant effects of schooling attainment on the probability of incarceration using Census data from 1960-1980. Using data from the 1960-90 Uniform Crime Reports, we also estimate that increases in average schooling levels reduce arrest rates for violent and property crime but not white collar crime. Our results suggest small and mixed direct effects of school quality (as measured by pupil-teacher ratios, term length, and teacher salaries) on incarceration and arrests. Finally, we show that the effects of education on crime for women are unlikely to be due to changes in labor market opportunities and may be more related to changes in marital opportunities and family formation.

Suggested Citation

  • Javier Cano-Urbina & Lance Lochner, 2017. "The Effect of Education and School Quality on Female Crime," NBER Working Papers 24061, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24061
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:eee:eecrev:v:109:y:2018:i:c:p:289-304 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:eecrev:v:109:y:2018:i:c:p:275-288 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Bennett, Patrick & Ouazad, Amine, 2018. "Job Displacement, Unemployment, and Crime: Evidence from Danish Microdata and Reforms," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 32/2018, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics, revised 21 Dec 2018.
    4. Campaniello, Nadia & Gavrilova, Evelina, 2018. "Uncovering the gender participation gap in crime," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 289-304.
    5. repec:eee:labeco:v:52:y:2018:i:c:p:160-177 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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