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The Effect of Education Attainment on Crime Rate in United States

Essay by   •  March 26, 2018  •  Research Paper  •  638 Words (3 Pages)  •  328 Views

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The Effect of Education Attainment on Crime Rate

in United States

  • Introduction

Criminal activity may be affected by several different channels in theoretical perspective. For instance, past experiences in criminal activity may increasing the probability of committing  another crime, similarly past incidence of crime in society may lower the perceived probability of apprehension, and education level is also one of the factor that might affect the crime activity.

Many researchers have done studies from different perspectives such as the educational policy, the quality of schools and the regional / cultural effect on education to test if education does have a relationship with crime. There is a general belief that increasing of education attainment will reduce predisposing to criminal activity. Higher levels of educational attainment are considered associating with higher return in labor market, therefore increasing the opportunity cost of criminal behavior.

In this research a regression analysis will be adopted as the methodology to see whether or not the education will have a significant correlation with crime rate in the United States.

  • Literature review

   Lochner (2004) collected individual-level data from the Census on incarceration, state-level data on arrests from the Uniform Crime Reports, and self-report data on crime and incarceration from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. By using both ordinary least squares (OLS) and instrumental variables (IV) to estimate the quantitative impact of schooling on incarceration and arrest, he found that Schooling significantly reduces criminal activity because it increases opportunity costs from lost earnings and expected costs of being locked up. Education is a role of  human capital investment, he believes that education will increase the work opportunity and if the return of work is higher than committing crimes ,then by schooling and training it supposed to reduce crime.

Machin, Marie and Vujic(2010) used British data to estimate the effects of education on property crime from 1984 to 2002 for an empirically analysis. Found  that additional year increase in average education attainment decreases property crime conviction rate by about 30 percent.

Randi, Helena and Matthew(2011) utilized compulsory schooling reform as an instrument variable for years of schooling,assumed  more schooling causing a significant decrease in criminal activity and found one additional year of schooling decreases the likelihood of conviction by 7.5% for males and by 11% for females.

Buonanno, P., & Leonida, L. (2006), using data from the National longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY), found that high school graduation directly lowers criminal propensity even after controlling for market returns. Their estimates suggest that a 10% point increase in high school graduation rates would reduce property crime rates by 4 percent and total crime rates by about 3%.

  • Research question

Is there a negative correlation between education attainment and crime rate?

  • Hypothesis

H0: There is no negative correlation between education attainment and crime rate.

H1: There is a negative correlation between education attainment and crime rate.

  • Methodology

Using the total crime cases reported of  United States from 1990 to 2016 divided by the population of United States (Dependent variable) and the percentage of the United States' population who have completed 4 years of college or more from 1990 to 2016(Independent variable) ,then applying the collected data into regression analysis

Year

Crime rate

(Variable Y)

College graduations

(Variable X)

2016

0.003862825

66.9

2015

0.003737372

65

2014

0.003619442

63.9

2013

0.00369475

63.4

2012

0.003875998

62

2011

0.003869576

60.9

2010

0.004033254

59.9

2009

0.004318787

59.2

2008

0.004581394

58.9

2007

0.004718385

57.5

2006

0.004806281

56.1

2005

0.004702384

55.4

2004

0.004641214

55.5

2003

0.004765932

54.6

2002

0.004946691

53.6

2001

0.005049362

52.5

2000

0.005051834

51.4

1999

0.005229527

50.6

1998

0.005674789

48.9

1997

0.006110682

47.9

1996

0.006367289

47.4

1995

0.006845631

46.2

1994

0.007136945

44.7

1993

0.007472536

44

1992

0.007577708

42.9

1991

0.007582544

43.1

1990

0.007296891

42.8

...

...

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