Youth Crime and Education Expansion

37 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2012

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

Date Written: June 1, 2012

Abstract

We present new evidence on the causal impact of education on crime, by considering a large expansion of the UK post-compulsory education system that occurred in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The education expansion raised education levels across the whole education distribution and, in particular for our analysis, at the bottom end enabling us to develop an instrumental variable strategy to study the crime-education relationship. At the same time as the education expansion, youth crime fell, revealing a significant cross-cohort relationship between crime and education. The causal crime reducing effect of education is estimated to be negative and significant, and considerably bigger in (absolute) magnitude than ordinary least squares estimates. The education boost also significantly impacted other productivity related economic variables (qualification attainment and wages), demonstrating that the incapacitation effect of additional time spent in school is not the sole driver of the results.

Keywords: youth crime, education expansion

JEL Classification: I2, K42

Suggested Citation

Machin, Stephen J. and Marie, Olivier and Vujic, Suncica, Youth Crime and Education Expansion (June 1, 2012). IZA Discussion Paper No. 6582, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2080326

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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