Compulsory Education in Argentina: Effects on Crime

Carolina Lopez , Brown University

Researchers have long been interested in the links between education and crime but evaluating this relationship causally is challenging. Evidence from developed countries indicates a negative relationship. In this paper, I analyze this relationship using data of Argentina by exploiting a legal change which lengthened compulsory education. I use difference-in-differences and a synthetic control method to compare trends in early adopting areas to those in later adopting areas. I find a significant decrease in crime rates in Buenos Aires and Córdoba, the two provinces which implemented the law in 1996, as compared to the controls which adopted later. Evidence suggests these impacts may be due to incapacitation effect.

See paper

 Presented in Session 8. Economy, Labor Force, Education, & Inequality