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Why Are Criminals Less Educated than Non-Criminals? Evidence from a Cohort of Young Australian Twins

Dinand Webbink, Pierre Koning (), Sunčica Vujić and Nicholas G. Martin

Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, 2013, vol. 29, issue 1, 115-144

Abstract: Many studies find a strong negative association between crime and education. This raises the question whether crime reduces investment in human capital or whether education reduces criminal activity. This article investigates posed question by using fixed-effect estimation on data of Australian twins. We find early arrests (before the age of 18) both to have a strong effect on human capital accumulation, as well as strong detrimental effects on adult crime. Schooling does not have an effect on adult crime if there is variation in early arrests. However, schooling reduces crime if there is little variation in early crime. (JEL code: I2, K42). The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Yale University. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email:, Oxford University Press.

Date: 2013
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Working Paper: Why are criminals less educated than non-criminals? Evidence from a cohort of young Australian twins (2008) Downloads
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Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:29:y:2013:i:1:p:115-144