The crime reducing effect of educationThe crime reducing effect of education
Faculty of Applied Economics
The economic journal: the quarterly journal / Royal Economic Society [London] - London
121(2011):552, p. 463-484
In this article, we study the crime reducing potential of education, presenting causal statistical estimates based upon a law that changed the compulsory school leaving age in England and Wales. We frame the analysis in a regression-discontinuity setting and uncover significant decreases in property crime from reductions in the proportion of people with no educational qualifications and increases in the age of leaving school that resulted from the change in the law. The findings show that improving education can yield significant social benefits and can be a key policy tool in the drive to reduce crime.