More Schooling, Less Youth Crime? Learning from an Earthquake in Japan

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Abstract

This paper aims to identify the causal effect of schooling on youth crime. To identify the causal effect, I use the policy interventions that occurred after the Kobe earthquake that hit Japan in 1995 as a natural experiment inducing exogenous variation in schooling. Based on a comparison of the arrest rates between municipalities exposed to similar degrees of earthquake damage but with and without the policy interventions, I find that a higher high school participation rate reduces juvenile arrest rates for violent crime but not for property crime. The estimates of social benefits show that it is less expensive to reach a target level of social benefits by improving schooling than by strengthening the police force.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBonn
PublisherIZA Discussion Paper
Pages1 - 39
Number of pages39
Volume8619
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014

Keywords

  • schooling
  • youth crime
  • social externality

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