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Does Eligibility for Tertiary Education Affect Crime Rates? Quasi-Experimental Evidence

Nordin, Martin LU (2017) In Journal of Quantitative Criminology
Abstract

Objectives: This paper estimates the effect of tertiary education eligibility on crime in Sweden. The hypothesis tested is that continuing to higher education decreases crime rates since it allows young people to escape inactivity and idleness, which are known to trigger crime. However, to qualify for tertiary education, individuals have to meet the eligibility requirements in upper-secondary school. Tertiary education eligibility may therefore affect crime rates. Methods: This paper uses a panel data set of 287 Swedish municipalities over the period 1998–2010 to estimate the tertiary education eligibility effect on crime. However, estimating educational effects on crime is challenging, because investment in education is an endogenous... (More)

Objectives: This paper estimates the effect of tertiary education eligibility on crime in Sweden. The hypothesis tested is that continuing to higher education decreases crime rates since it allows young people to escape inactivity and idleness, which are known to trigger crime. However, to qualify for tertiary education, individuals have to meet the eligibility requirements in upper-secondary school. Tertiary education eligibility may therefore affect crime rates. Methods: This paper uses a panel data set of 287 Swedish municipalities over the period 1998–2010 to estimate the tertiary education eligibility effect on crime. However, estimating educational effects on crime is challenging, because investment in education is an endogenous decision. In Sweden, substantial grade inflation, increased tertiary education eligibility by more than 6% points between 1998 and 2003. Thus, since the eligibility increase is exogenous to the educational achievements of a student cohort, i.e. not accompanied by a corresponding knowledge increase, we can use the increase to identify the effect of tertiary education eligibility on crime. Results: It is found that increasing the tertiary education eligibility rate decreases both property and violent crime substantially. Conclusions: The results show that when young people have the opportunity to attend tertiary education, and thus escape unemployment or inactivity, their propensity to commit crime decreases.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
keywords
Attendance, Crime, Education, Tertiary eligibility
in
Journal of Quantitative Criminology
pages
25 pages
external identifiers
  • scopus:85019557361
ISSN
0748-4518
DOI
10.1007/s10940-017-9355-8
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
7978baa4-c87f-47b5-a2c5-7a9b80b40582
date added to LUP
2017-07-04 06:58:47
date last changed
2017-07-04 06:58:47
@article{7978baa4-c87f-47b5-a2c5-7a9b80b40582,
  abstract     = {<p>Objectives: This paper estimates the effect of tertiary education eligibility on crime in Sweden. The hypothesis tested is that continuing to higher education decreases crime rates since it allows young people to escape inactivity and idleness, which are known to trigger crime. However, to qualify for tertiary education, individuals have to meet the eligibility requirements in upper-secondary school. Tertiary education eligibility may therefore affect crime rates. Methods: This paper uses a panel data set of 287 Swedish municipalities over the period 1998–2010 to estimate the tertiary education eligibility effect on crime. However, estimating educational effects on crime is challenging, because investment in education is an endogenous decision. In Sweden, substantial grade inflation, increased tertiary education eligibility by more than 6% points between 1998 and 2003. Thus, since the eligibility increase is exogenous to the educational achievements of a student cohort, i.e. not accompanied by a corresponding knowledge increase, we can use the increase to identify the effect of tertiary education eligibility on crime. Results: It is found that increasing the tertiary education eligibility rate decreases both property and violent crime substantially. Conclusions: The results show that when young people have the opportunity to attend tertiary education, and thus escape unemployment or inactivity, their propensity to commit crime decreases.</p>},
  author       = {Nordin, Martin},
  issn         = {0748-4518},
  keyword      = {Attendance,Crime,Education,Tertiary eligibility},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {05},
  pages        = {25},
  series       = {Journal of Quantitative Criminology},
  title        = {Does Eligibility for Tertiary Education Affect Crime Rates? Quasi-Experimental Evidence},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10940-017-9355-8},
  year         = {2017},
}