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Separating State Dependence, Experience, and Heterogeneity in a Model of Youth Crime and Education

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Abstract

We study the determinants of youth crime using a dynamic discrete choice model of crime and education. We allow past education and criminal activities to affect current crime and educational decisions. We take advantage of a rich panel dataset on serious juvenile offenders, the Pathways to Desistance. Using a series of psychometric tests, we estimate a model of cognitive and social/ emotional skills that feeds into the crime and education model. This allows us to separately identify the roles of state dependence, returns to experience, and heterogeneity in driving crime and enrollment decisions among youth. We find small effects of experience and stronger evidence of state dependence for crime and schooling. We provide evidence that, as a consequence, policies that affect individual heterogeneity (like social/emotional skills), and those that temporarily keep youth away from crime, can have important and lasting effects even if criminal experience has already accumulated.

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  • Maria Antonella Mancino & Salvador Navarro & David A. Rivers, 2015. "Separating State Dependence, Experience, and Heterogeneity in a Model of Youth Crime and Education," University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP) Working Papers 20151, University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP).
  • Handle: RePEc:uwo:hcuwoc:20151
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    1. Giovanni Mastrobuoni & David A Rivers, 2019. "Optimising Criminal Behaviour and the Disutility of Prison," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(619), pages 1364-1399.
    2. Mastrobuoni, Giovanni & Rivers, David A., 2016. "Criminal Discount Factors and Deterrence," IZA Discussion Papers 9769, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Crime; Education; Youth;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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