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Youth crime and education expansion

  • Machin Stephen
  • Marie Olivier
  • Vujić Sunčica

    (ROA rm)

We present new evidence on the causal impact of education on crime, by consideringa large expansion of the UK post-compulsory education system that occurred in thelate 1980s and early 1990s. The education expansion raised education levels acrossthe whole education distribution and, in particular for our analysis, at the bottom endenabling us to develop an instrumental variable strategy to study the crime-educationrelationship. At the same time as the education expansion, youth crime fell, revealinga significant cross-cohort relationship between crime and education. The causalcrime reducing effect of education is estimated to be negative and significant, andconsiderably bigger in (absolute) magnitude than ordinary least squares estimates.The education boost also significantly impacted other productivity related economicvariables (qualification attainment and wages), demonstrating that the incapacitationeffect of additional time spent in school is not the sole driver of the results.

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File URL: http://digitalarchive.maastrichtuniversity.nl/fedora/objects/guid:24fe6afa-3183-4650-bdf1-3f07cf916579/datastreams/ASSET1/content
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Paper provided by Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA) in its series ROA Research Memorandum with number 009.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:unm:umaror:2012009
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  1. Stephen Machin & Costas Meghir, 2004. "Crime and Economic Incentives," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(4).
  2. 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).
  3. Oreopoulos, Philip, 2007. "Do dropouts drop out too soon? Wealth, health and happiness from compulsory schooling," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(11-12), pages 2213-2229, December.
  4. Naci H. Mocan & Bulent Unel, 2011. "Skill-biased Technological Change, Earnings of Unskilled Workers, and Crime," NBER Working Papers 17605, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Paul J. Devereux & Robert A. Hart, 2009. "Forced to be Rich? Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Britain," Working Papers 200940, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  6. Tauchen, Helen & Witte, Ann Dryden & Griesinger, Harriet, 1994. "Criminal Deterrence: Revisiting the Issue with a Birth Cohort," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(3), pages 399-412, August.
  7. Steven D. Levitt & Lance Lochner, 2001. "The Determinants of Juvenile Crime," NBER Chapters, in: Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis, pages 327-374 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Jeff Grogger, 1997. "Market Wages and Youth Crime," NBER Working Papers 5983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Devereux, Paul J. & Fan, Wen, 2011. "Earnings returns to the British education expansion," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1153-1166.
  10. Lance Lochner, 2010. "Non-Production Benefits of Education: Crime, Health and Good Citizenship," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20107, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  11. Hjalmarsson, Randi, 2008. "Criminal justice involvement and high school completion," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 613-630, March.
  12. Eric D. Gould & Bruce A. Weinberg & David B. Mustard, 2002. "Crime Rates And Local Labor Market Opportunities In The United States: 1979-1997," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 45-61, February.
  13. Jo Blanden & Stephen Machin, 2013. "Educational Inequality and The Expansion of UK Higher Education," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 60(5), pages 578-596, November.
  14. Ricardo Sabates & Leon Feinstein, 2008. "Effects of government initiatives on youth crime," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 462-483, July.
  15. 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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