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The Effect of Education and School Quality on Female Crime

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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. The estimated reductions in crime for women are smaller in magnitude than comparable estimates for men; however, the effects for women are larger in percentage terms (relative to baseline crime rates). 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 is unlikely to be due to changes in labor market opportunities and may be more related to changes in marital opportunities and family formation.

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  • Javier Cano-Urbina & Lance Lochner, 2016. "The Effect of Education and School Quality on Female Crime," University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP) Working Papers 20163, University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP).
  • Handle: RePEc:uwo:hcuwoc:20163
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    Cited by:

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    2. Sinha, Avik & Sengupta, Tuhin, 2020. "Governance Quality and Tourism: Moderation of Social Determinants of Crime," MPRA Paper 102212, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2020.
    3. Noghanibehambari, Hamid & Tavassoli, Nahid, 2022. "An ounce of prevention, a pound of cure: The effects of college expansions on crime," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C).
    4. Beatton, Tony & Kidd, Michael P. & Sandi, Matteo, 2020. "School indiscipline and crime," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 108475, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. Clay, Karen & Lingwall, Jeff & Jr, Melvin Stephens, 2021. "Laws, educational outcomes, and returns to schooling evidence from the first wave of U.S. state compulsory attendance laws," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C).
    6. Patrick Bennett & Amine Ouazad, 2020. "Job Displacement, Unemployment, and Crime: Evidence from Danish Microdata and Reforms [The Link between Human Capital, Mass Layoffs, and Firm Deaths]," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 18(5), pages 2182-2220.
    7. Bennett, Patrick, 2018. "The heterogeneous effects of education on crime: Evidence from Danish administrative twin data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 160-177.
    8. Campaniello, Nadia & Gavrilova, Evelina, 2018. "Uncovering the gender participation gap in crime," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 289-304.
    9. Beatton, Tony & Kidd, Michael P. & Machin, Stephen, 2018. "Gender crime convergence over twenty years: Evidence from Australia," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 275-288.

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    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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