Crime, Punishment, and Schooling Decisions: Evidence from Colombian Adolescents

47 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2013

See all articles by Ana M. Ibáñez

Ana M. Ibáñez

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics

Catherine Rodriguez

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics

David Zarruk

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia

Date Written: June 2013

Abstract

This paper uses a natural policy experiment to estimate how changes in the costs of engaging in criminal activity may influence adolescents’ decisions in crime participation and school attendance. The study finds that, after an exogenous decrease in the severity of judicial punishment imposed on Colombian adolescents, crime rates in Colombian municipalities increased. This effect appears to be larger in municipalities with a higher proportion of adolescents between 14 and 15 years of age. The study provides suggestive evidence that one possible transmission channel for this effect is a decrease in the effort of the police force to capture teenage suspects. The study also finds that the probability that boys of this same age group attend school decreased following the change in the juvenile justice system. This effect is stronger for boys from homes where the heads of household are less educated.

JEL Classification: D19, I25, K14

Suggested Citation

Ibáñez, Ana María and Rodriguez, Catherine and Zarruk, David, Crime, Punishment, and Schooling Decisions: Evidence from Colombian Adolescents (June 2013). IDB Working Paper No. IDB-WP-413, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2367686 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2367686

Ana María Ibáñez (Contact Author)

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics ( email )

Carrera 1a No. 18A-10
Santafe de Bogota, AA4976
Colombia
571 339 4949 Ext. 3634 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://economia.uniandes.edu.co/~economia/html/profesores/profesores.php?modo=mostrar&id=145

Catherine Rodriguez

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics ( email )

Carrera 1a No. 18A-10
Santafe de Bogota, AA4976
Colombia

David Zarruk

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia

Carrera Primera # 18A-12
Bogota, DC D.C. 110311
Colombia

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