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Essays on the economics of crime

Schnabel, M; (2014) Essays on the economics of crime. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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This thesis considers public policy effects on crime in Sweden using extensive administrative register data on all convictions in Sweden between 1973-2010. First, it explores the impacts of the Swedish compulsory schooling reform that took place between 1949-1962 on individual crime of the generation directly targeted by the education reform. Then it considers the intergenerational effect of this education policy on crime. Policies are often evaluated on either short term outcomes or just in terms of their effect on individuals directly targeted. If such policies shift outcomes across generations their benefits may be much larger than originally thought. This study provides novel evidence on the intergenerational impact of policy by showing that educational reform in Sweden reduced crime rates of the targeted generation and their sons by comparable amounts. The second policy evaluated in this thesis is a liberalization of the opening hours of the Swedish alcohol monopoly outlet stores that took place between 2000- 2001. This study distinguishes itself from existing studies by mapping out an age-specific policy impact on crime for all ages and for a broad set of types of crimes. Whether and how alcohol policies shift criminal outcomes differently for different ages and type of crimes is not well established. The liberalized opening hours of outlet stores had very heterogeneous effects on crime by age and type of crimes. It reduced overall crime rates for male teenagers by 15-20 percent, mainly driven by reductions in drugs and property offences. Men in their mid-thirties also experience a substantial reduction of overall crime rates by 9 percent that comes from reductions in other crimes category and traffic crimes. While a strong increase of 10 percent in the crime rate for men in their early to mid-twenties can be mainly attributed towards a large increase in drug offences.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Essays on the economics of crime
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: Economics of crime, Public policy, Compulsory education reform, Intergenerational transmission, Returns to education, Returns to human capital, Age-crime proles, Alcohol policy
UCL classification: 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 > Dept of Economics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1431114
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