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The impact of U.S. deportation of criminals on gang development and education in El Salvador

Priti Kalsi ()

Journal of Development Economics, 2018, vol. 135, issue C, 433-448

Abstract: This paper links American criminal deportations with gang activity and reduced schooling in El Salvador. Regions with greater business density before the deportations are argued to be suitable for future gangs, as extortion of businesses is their primary source of income. These regions are shown to become disproportionately more violent with more criminal deportations. Using variation in time and location, I estimate a difference-in-differences model to study the impact of gang exposure on children's education. Gangs hinder basic education (comparable to U.S. grades 1–9), with boys experiencing a greater loss in schooling. I reject the threat of a pre-existing trend and selective migration in high business density areas. The results do not appear to be explained by violence alone, but by a weakening economy in gang-prone areas that could have lowered the returns to schooling. Boys' involvement in gangs and increased employment could explain their larger loss of schooling.

Keywords: Criminal deportations; Gangs; Schooling (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:135:y:2018:i:c:p:433-448