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Youth Crime and Education Expansion

  • Machin Stephen
  • Marie Olivier
  • Vujić Sunčica

    (METEOR)

We present new evidence on the causal impact of education on crime, by considering a largeexpansion of the UK post-compulsory education system that occurred in the late 1980s and early1990s. The education expansion raised education levels across the whole education distributionand, in particular for our analysis, at the bottom end enabling us to develop an instrumentalvariable strategy to study the crime-education relationship. At the same time as the educationexpansion, youth crime fell, revealing a significant cross-cohort relationship between crime andeducation. The causal crime reducing effect of education is estimated to be negative andsignificant, and considerably bigger in (absolute) magnitude than ordinary least squaresestimates. The education boost also significantly impacted other productivity related economicvariables (qualification attainment and wages), demonstrating that the incapacitation effect ofadditional time spent in school is not the sole driver of the results.

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Paper provided by Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR) in its series Research Memorandum with number 037.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:unm:umamet:2012037
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  38. repec:qut:auncer:2012_5 is not listed on IDEAS
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