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Why Does Education Reduce Crime?

Brian Bell, Rui Costa () and Stephen Machin ()

No 13162, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: Prior research shows reduced criminality to be a beneficial consequence of education policies that raise the school leaving age. This paper studies how crime reductions occurred in a sequence of state-level dropout age reforms enacted between 1980 and 2010 in the United States. These reforms changed the shape of crime-age profiles, reflecting both a temporary incapacitation effect and a more sustained, longer run crime reducing effect. In contrast to the previous research looking at earlier US education reforms, crime reduction does not arise solely as a result of education improvements, and so the observed longer run effect is interpreted as dynamic incapacitation. Additional evidence based on longitudinal data combined with an education reform from a different setting in Australia corroborates the finding of dynamic incapacitation underpinning education policy-induced crime reduction.

Keywords: Compulsory schooling laws; Crime age profiles; School dropout (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I2 K42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-law and nep-ure
Date: 2018-09
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Working Paper: Why Does Education Reduce Crime? (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Why does education reduce crime? (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Why Does Education Reduce Crime? (2018) Downloads
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