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Education, Work and Crime: Evidence from Educational Reforms

Vieira Marques Da Costa, RM; (2018) Education, Work and Crime: Evidence from Educational Reforms. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis studies the interactions between education, work and crime as a response to highly relevant and debated educational policy reforms: changes in compulsory school laws. In Chapter 1 a study of the recent trends of crime in the United States (US) is presented, along with a general theoretical model of crime as a rational individual decision shaped by different incentives. In the empirical section of the chapter, the use of individual-level data and exogenous variation in compulsory schooling laws helps to establish causality between educational attainment and incarceration in the US between 1960 to 2010 using an instrumental variable design. Chapter 2 looks more closely at the relationship between the policy reforms, education and crime in the recent period since 1980. Using arrest, incarceration and education data for males it establishes a fading response of educational attainment to changes in the laws, through a prevalent reduction effect stemming from the stricter law requirements adopted. In Chapter 3, the negative effect unveiled in Chapter 2 is carefully analysed through a multiple discontinuity design so as to better understand the channels through which compulsory schooling laws operate to reduce crime. Using detailed arrest data since 1974, evidence is found in favour of strong incapacitation effects in the short-run, complemented with dynamic incapacitation effects in the medium-run among young males. Finally, Chapter 4 looks at the response of females to these educational reforms in terms of crime and teenage pregnancy outcomes. Using a multiple discontinuity design, it is found that females respond similarly to their male counterparts with respect to crime and furthermore show a reduction in teenage pregnancy rates as a response to the same changes in compulsory schooling laws. Nevertheless in this chapter it is shown that the crime reducing effects of the laws are heterogeneous according to demographic, labour market and school quality regional conditions.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Education, Work and Crime: Evidence from Educational Reforms
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10047101
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