Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Another Benefit of Higer Education

An issue brief from the Alliance for Excellent Education Saving Futures, Saving Dollars: The Impact of Education on Crime Reduction and Earnings helps answer my question from yesterday, maybe. Recall that I wondered if the report from the National Conference on Citizenship would stoke any interest in accounting for the less tangible benefits of college attendance. Well, here we have another group touting a benefit of college--less crime.

The Alliance writes: "Increasing the graduation rate and college matriculation of male students by only 5 percent could lead to combined savings and revenue of almost $8 billion each year." The Alliance brief tallies state-by-state totals in revenue generation states would enjoy if 5 percent more men graduated high school and matriculated to college.

Of course what we'd really like to see, I would really like to see, is a correlational study or even an ANOVA testing the hypotheses the Alliance describes that lead classroom-goers to a life of less crime. For example: more time spent in the classroom may play a role in instilling values that are opposed to criminal actions, and by keeping adolescents in the classroom and off the streets, early criminal behavior has less of a chance to turn into adult criminal behavior (Lochner & Moretti, 2004).


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