The Correlation Between the Levels of Crime and Poverty and the Levels of Education in a Society

Topics: Crime, Criminology, Sociology Pages: 5 (1888 words) Published: May 3, 2013
The main difference with the more recent group has been the time they spent at school, as research has often concluded that education has an impact on violent crime. In average, the more time you spend at school the less violent you will become. Schools don't just teach you about history or math, they teach you how to live in society. Therefore when at school especially if a child attends a school that is known for violence then that child maybe will be accustomed to violence. In other countries, where the social discrimination factor was not that strong, results have shown that less education meant more offenses ranging from property crime, “casual” theft, to drug-related offenses (mostly theft). It appears that in fact, poverty itself is more tied with violence, criminal damage and also drug use, as a catalyst for violence. Education raises wage rates, which raises the opportunity costs of crime; education may directly . Schooling may affect the social networks or peers of individuals. For most crimes (except, possibly, white collar crimes), one would expect these forces to induce a negative effect of schooling on crime. The Framework assumes that education (as well as job training) develops formal labor market skills, which raises the opportunity costs of crime commission. Education may also develop criminal skills; although, this is only likely to be important for certain white collar crimes. Alternatively, education may `socialize' individuals such that they prefer not to engage in crime. Education may also teach individuals to be more patient. This will discourage crime, since forward-looking individuals place greater weight on any expected punishment associated with their criminal activities. Education may also affect preferences toward risk. To the extent that schooling makes individuals more risk averse, it will tend to discourage crime. Schooling is not exogenously determined. Youth will choose to enroll in school if they receive a net benefit from doing so; otherwise, they will not. Not only does an increase in wages for high school graduates or college attendees reduce crime for all youth who would have attained these schooling levels in the first place, but it also causes more youth to finish high school and attend college, lowering their lifetime criminal activity as well. Individuals who choose more schooling (even after conditioning on observable characteristics) might also choose less crime regardless of their education level, in which case regression-based estimates do not identify the causal effect of schooling on crime. Second, using variation in crime and education across states or local communities may also produce biased estimates. Governments may face a choice between funding law enforcement and good public schools, which would tend to produce a spurious positive correlation between education and crime. Alternatively, unobserved characteristics about communities or their residents may directly affect the costs or benefits of both education and crime. For example, communities with few job opportunities that reward schooling may also be faced with severe gang problems. While it is often possible to account for permanent unobserved differences across communities by examining the relationship between changes in schooling and crime over time, such an approach cannot account for the effects of changing unobserved community characteristics. Third, reverse causality is another important concern, in which case traditional regression estimates may be confounded by the effect of criminal activity on schooling. Recently, economists have attempted to address these difficult issues through the use of instrumental variable estimation methods. In the context of estimating the effect of educational attainment on crime, an instrument is valid if it induces variation in schooling but is uncorrelated with other factors that directly affect criminal behavior (e.g. individual preferences or abilities). Intuitively, this...
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