Reducing Crime and Violence: Experimental Evidence from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Liberia
University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Julian C. Jamison
World Bank Global Insights Initiative; Innovations for Poverty Action
Harvard Medical School/Boston Children's Hospital; University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
August 29, 2016
We show that a number of “noncognitive” skills and preferences, including patience and identity, are malleable in adults, and that investments in them reduce crime and violence. We recruited criminally-engaged men and randomized half to eight weeks of cognitive behavioral therapy designed to foster self-regulation, patience, and a noncriminal identity and lifestyle. We also randomized $200 grants. Cash alone and therapy alone initially reduced crime and violence, but effects dissipated over time. When cash followed therapy, crime and violence decreased dramatically for at least a year. We hypothesize that cash reinforced therapy’s impacts by prolonging learning-by-doing, lifestyle changes, and self-investment.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 49
Keywords: noncognitive skills, crime, violence, poverty, cash transfers, field experiment, Liberia, rehabilitation, self control, social identity
JEL Classification: O12, J22, K42, D03
Date posted: April 18, 2015 ; Last revised: September 2, 2016
© 2016 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
This page was processed by apollobot1 in 1.016 seconds