Crime and Education in a Model of Information Transmission

Darwin Cortes, Guido Friebel, Darío Maldonado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We model the decisions of young individuals to stay in school or drop out and engage in criminal activities. We build on the literature on human capital and crime engagement and use the framework of Banerjee (1993) that assumes that the information needed to engage in crime arrives in the form of a rumour and that individuals update their beliefs about the profitability of crime relative to education. These assumptions allow us to study the effect of social interactions on crime. In our model, we investigate informational spillovers from the actions of talented students to less talented students. We show that policies that decrease the cost of education for talented students may increase the vulnerability of less talented students to crime. The effect is exacerbated when students do not fully understand the underlying learning dynamics. © 2019 The Authors. Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of International Centre of Research and Information on the Public and Cooperative Economy
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-93
Number of pages22
JournalAnnals of Public and Cooperative Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

Cite this