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Reducing crime and violence: experimental evidence on adult noncognitive investments in Liberia

Christopher Blattman, Julian C Jamison and Margaret Sheridan

No 7648, Policy Research Working Paper Series from The World Bank

Abstract: The paper shows that self-control, time preferences, and values are malleable in adults, and that investments in these skills and preferences reduce crime and violence. The authors recruited criminally-engaged Liberian men and randomized half to eight weeks of group cognitive behavioral therapy, fostering self-regulation, patience, and noncriminal values. They also randomized $200 grants. Cash alone and therapy alone dramatically reduced crime and violence, but effects dissipated within a year. When cash followed therapy, however, crime and violence decreased by as much as 50 percent for at least a year. They hypothesize that cash reinforced therapy's lessons by prolonging practice and self-investment.

Keywords: Inequality; Disability; Economic Assistance; Governance Diagnostic Capacity Building; Macroeconomic Management; Services&Transfers to Poor; Access of Poor to Social Services; Economic Forecasting (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016-04-20
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-afr, nep-exp, nep-pr~ and nep-neu
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