Study finds increased education lowers crime

December 6, 2011

New research from The CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity at The University of Western Ontario shows that education, and related education-based initiatives, can reduce crime rates, improve health, lower mortality rates, and increase political participation.

The findings were released today in a new policy brief titled “The Impacts of Education on Crime, Health and Mortality, and Civic Participation,” which was authored by Western economics professor and CIBC Center Director Lance Lochner.

“The social benefits from crime and mortality reduction appear to be sizeable,” says Lochner. “For example, estimates suggest that increasing the high school graduation rate in the United States in 1990 would have resulted in nearly 100,000 fewer crimes, providing an annual benefit valued at more than $2 billion. Social benefits from reductions in mortality are likely to be of similar magnitude.”

Estimated benefits from crime reduction are similar in the United States and Europe while estimated effects of education on health, , and political participation appear to be weaker in Europe. 

“The strongest case for government action is based on education’s effects on crime due to its significant externalities,” adds Lochner. “In terms of reduction, policies that increase high school completion rates or that improve school quality and early childhood learning opportunities, especially in disadvantaged communities, are likely to be more successful than policies aimed at increasing college and university attendance.”

Explore further: Measuring the ability to bounce back from disaster, tragedy

Related Stories

Measuring the ability to bounce back from disaster, tragedy

December 3, 2010

Hurricane Katrina. 9/11. The BP oil spill. Natural and manmade disasters destroy lives and cost billions in damages. Communities do their best to cope, clean up and rebuild, but psychological and societal scars can linger, ...

Parental income can determine post-secondary attendance

February 10, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- New research from the CIBC Centre in Human Capital and Productivity at The University of Western Ontario shows parental income is a much stronger determinant of post-secondary attendance in the U.S. than ...

Self-control key to happier life

April 15, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- New Zealand’s first symposium exploring how self-control in young children leads to better outcomes in later life is being hosted at the Wellington campus by Massey University’s School of Public ...

The benefits of marriage

September 26, 2011

Marriage can potentially help reduce crime by enabling people to develop greater self-control, according to a new study examining changes in marital status, self-control and marijuana use between late adolescence and early ...

BreastScreen: balancing benefits and harms

November 4, 2011

New research has questioned the relative impact of mammographic screening in reducing deaths from breast cancer, concluding that it is not responsible for most of the recent reduction in mortality rates and may in fact cause ...

Recommended for you

An inflexible diet led to the disappearance of the cave bear

August 23, 2016

Senckenberg scientists have studied the feeding habits of the extinct cave bear. Based on the isotope composition in the collagen of the bears' bones, they were able to show that the large mammals subsisted on a purely vegan ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.