Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2594868
 


 



Reducing Crime and Violence: Experimental Evidence on Adult Noncognitive Investments in Liberia


Christopher Blattman


Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Julian C. Jamison


World Bank Global Insights Initiative; Innovations for Poverty Action

Margaret Sheridan


Harvard Medical School/Boston Children's Hospital; University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Department of Psychology and Neuroscience

December 16, 2015


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.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 106

Keywords: noncognitive skills, crime, violence, poverty, cash transfers, field experiment, Liberia, rehabilitation, self control, social identity

JEL Classification: O12, J22, K42, D03


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Date posted: April 18, 2015 ; Last revised: April 28, 2016

Suggested Citation

Blattman, Christopher and Jamison, Julian C. and Sheridan, Margaret, Reducing Crime and Violence: Experimental Evidence on Adult Noncognitive Investments in Liberia (December 16, 2015). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2594868 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2594868

Contact Information

Christopher Blattman (Contact Author)
Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA) ( email )
420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Julian C. Jamison
World Bank Global Insights Initiative ( email )
1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-817-4942 (Phone)
Innovations for Poverty Action ( email )
New Haven, CT
United States
Margaret Sheridan
Harvard Medical School/Boston Children's Hospital ( email )
250 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States
University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Department of Psychology and Neuroscience ( email )
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
United States
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