Wandering Astray: Teenagers' Choices of Schooling and Crime

42 Pages Posted: 16 Mar 2020

See all articles by Chao Fu

Chao Fu

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Economics

Nicolás Grau

University of Chile

Jorge Rivera

University of Chile

Date Written: March 2020

Abstract

We build and estimate a dynamic model of teenagers' choices of schooling and crime, incorporating four factors that may contribute to the different routes taken by different teenagers: heterogeneous endowments, unequal opportunities, uncertainties about one's own ability, and contemporaneous shocks. We estimate the model using administrative panel data from Chile that link school records with juvenile criminal records. Counterfactual policy experiments suggest that, for teenagers with disadvantaged backgrounds, interventions that combine mild improvement in their schooling opportunities with free tuition (by adding 22 USD per enrollee-year to the existing voucher) would lead to an 11% decrease in the fraction of those ever arrested by age 18 and a 17% increase in the fraction of those consistently enrolled throughout primary and secondary education.

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Suggested Citation

Fu, Chao and Grau, Nicolás and Rivera, Jorge, Wandering Astray: Teenagers' Choices of Schooling and Crime (March 2020). NBER Working Paper No. w26858, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3554879

Chao Fu (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Economics ( email )

Madison, WI 53706
United States

Nicolás Grau

University of Chile ( email )

Pío Nono Nº1, Providencia
Santiago, R. Metropolitana 7520421
Chile

Jorge Rivera

University of Chile ( email )

Pío Nono Nº1, Providencia
Santiago, R. Metropolitana 7520421
Chile

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