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The Crime Reducing Effect of Education

Stephen Machin (), Olivier Marie () and Sunčica Vujić ()

No 5000, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: In this paper, we present evidence on empirical connections between crime and education, using various data sources from Britain. A robust finding is that criminal activity is negatively associated with higher levels of education. However, it is essential to ensure that the direction of causation flows from education to crime. Therefore, we identify the effect of education on participation in criminal activity using changes in compulsory school leaving age laws over time to account for the endogeneity of education. In this causal approach, for property crimes, the negative crime-education relationship remains strong and significant. The implications of these findings are unambiguous and clear. They show that improving education can yield significant social benefits and can be a key policy tool in the drive to reduce crime.

Keywords: education; crime; offenders (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I2 K42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 38 pages
Date: 2010-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hrm, nep-lab, nep-ltv and nep-ure
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (10) Track citations by RSS feed

Published - published in: Economic Journal, 2011, 121 (552), 463-484 [online]

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Related works:
Journal Article: The Crime Reducing Effect of Education (2011)
Working Paper: The Crime Reducing Effect of Education (2010) Downloads
Working Paper: The crime reducing effect of education (2010) Downloads
Working Paper: The crime reducing effect of education (2010) Downloads
Working Paper: The crime reducing effect of education (2010) Downloads
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