Centre for Vocational Education Research LSE RSS Email Facebook Twitter

Abstract:

Journal article
Crime, compulsory schooling laws and education

October 2016
Paper No' :


Tags: compulsory schooling laws; crime; education

Do compulsory schooling laws reduce crime? Previous evidence for the US from the 1960s and 1970s suggests they do, primarily working through their effect on educational attainment to generate a causal impact on crime. In this paper, we consider whether more recent experience replicates this. There are two key findings. First, there is a strong and consistent negative effect on crime from stricter compulsory schooling laws. Second, there is a weaker and sometimes non-existent link between such laws and educational attainment. As a result, credible causal estimates of the education–crime relationship cannot in general be identified for the more recent period, though they can for some groups with lower education levels (in particular, for blacks). © 2015 Elsevier Ltd