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The crime reducing effect of education

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  • Machin, S.
  • Marie, O.

    (Research Centre for Educ and Labour Mark, Macro, International & Labour Economics)

  • Vujic, S.

Abstract

In this paper, we present evidence on empirical connections between crime and education, using various data sources from Britain. A robust finding is that criminal activity is negatively associated with higher levels of education. However, it is essential to ensure that the direction of causation flows from education to crime. Therefore, we identify the effect of education on participation in criminal activity using changes in compulsory school leaving age laws over time to account for the endogeneity of education. In this causal approach, for property crimes, the negative crime-education relationship remains strong and significant. The implications of these findings are unambiguous and clear. They show that improving education can yield significant social benefits and can be a key policy tool in the drive to reduce crime.
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Suggested Citation

  • Machin, S. & Marie, O. & Vujic, S., 2010. "The crime reducing effect of education," ROA Research Memorandum 013, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:umaror:2010013
    DOI: 10.26481/umaror.2010013
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    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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