The Crime Reducing Effect of Education

22 Pages Posted: 20 May 2011

See all articles by Stephen J. Machin

Stephen J. Machin

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP); London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics

Olivier Marie

London School of Economics - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)

Suncica Vujic

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, School of Business and Economics

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Date Written: May 2011

Abstract

In this article, we study the crime reducing potential of education, presenting causal statistical estimates based upon a law that changed the compulsory school leaving age in England and Wales. We frame the analysis in a regression-discontinuity setting and uncover significant decreases in property crime from reductions in the proportion of people with no educational qualifications and increases in the age of leaving school that resulted from the change in the law. The findings show that improving education can yield significant social benefits and can be a key policy tool in the drive to reduce crime.

Suggested Citation

Machin, Stephen J. and Marie, Olivier and Vujic, Suncica, The Crime Reducing Effect of Education (May 2011). The Economic Journal, Vol. 121, Issue 552, pp. 463-484, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1840219 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0297.2011.02430.x

Stephen J. Machin (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Olivier Marie

London School of Economics - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Suncica Vujic

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, School of Business and Economics ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, 1081HV
Netherlands
+31(0)551 3555 (Fax)

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