The Effect of Education Policy on Crime: An Intergenerational Perspective
The intergenerational transmission of human capital and the extent to which policy interventions can affect it is an issue of importance. Policies are often evaluated on either short term outcomes or just in terms of their effect on individuals directly targeted. If such policies shift outcomes across generations their benefits may be much larger than originally thought. We provide evidence on the intergenerational impact of policy by showing that educational reform in Sweden reduced crime rates of the targeted generation and their children by comparable amounts. We attribute these outcomes to improved family resources and to better parenting.
We thank Phillip Cook, Lena Edlund, Jeffrey Grogger, Hans Grönqvist, James J. Heckman, Lisa Jönsson, Amanda Kowalski, Matthew Lindquist, Lance Lochner, Olivier Marie, Enrico Moretti, Emily Nix, Björn Öckert, Imran Rasul, Emilia Simeonova, Ebonya Washington as well as participants at seminars at Stockholm University, University College London, Yale University and the Institute for Labor Market Policy Evaluation (IFAU) in Uppsala, participants at the CESifo Venice Summer Institute 2011 and participants at the EEA Annual Meeting 2011 for helpful comments and suggestions. We gratefully acknowledge financial support from IFAU. Costas Meghir thanks the ESRC for funding under the Professorial Fellowship RES-051-27-0204 and under the ESRC Centre at the IFS ESRC RES-544-28-5001. Marieke Schnabel thanks Jan Wallanders och Tom Hedelius Stiftelse for generous financial support. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.