Lost Boys: Access to Secondary Education and Crime

48 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2019

See all articles by Kristiina Huttunen

Kristiina Huttunen

Uppsala University

Tuomas Pekkarinen

Aalto University; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); VATT Institute for Economic Research

Roope Uusitalo

Uppsala University - Department of Economics; IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation; Government of the Republic of Finland - VATT Institute for Economic Research; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Hanna Virtanen

ETLA, Research Institute of the Finnish Economy

Abstract

We study the effect of post-compulsory education on crime by exploiting a regression discontinuity design generated by admission cut-offs to upper secondary schools in Finland. We combine data on school applications with data on criminal convictions and follow individuals for 10 years. Our results show that successful applicants are less likely to commit crimes during the first five years after admission. Crime is reduced both during and outside the school year, indicating that the channel through which schooling affects crime cannot be explained by incapacitation alone. We find no effect on crime committed after 6 years from admission.

Keywords: crime, education, school admission, incapacitation, human capital

JEL Classification: K42, I2

Suggested Citation

Huttunen, Kristiina and Pekkarinen, Tuomas and Uusitalo, Roope and Virtanen, Hanna, Lost Boys: Access to Secondary Education and Crime. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12084. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3323199

Kristiina Huttunen (Contact Author)

Uppsala University ( email )

Box 513
Uppsala, 751 20
Sweden

Tuomas Pekkarinen

Aalto University ( email )

P.O. Box 21210
Helsinki, 00101
Finland

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

VATT Institute for Economic Research ( email )

Roope Uusitalo

Uppsala University - Department of Economics ( email )

Box 513
SE-75120 Uppsala
Sweden

IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation

Box 513
751 20 Uppsala
Sweden

Government of the Republic of Finland - VATT Institute for Economic Research

Arkadiankatu 7
P.O Box 1279
Helsinki, FIN-00531
Finland

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Hanna Virtanen

ETLA, Research Institute of the Finnish Economy ( email )

Lönnrotinkatu 4 B
Helsinki, 00120
Finland

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