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Why does education reduce crime?

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

LSE Research Online Documents on Economics from London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library

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: crime age profiles; school dropout; compulsory schooling laws (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I2 K42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018-08
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu, nep-law and nep-ure
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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/91687/ Open access version. (application/pdf)

Related works:
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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