Reducing Crime and Violence: Experimental Evidence on Adult Noncognitive Investments in Liberia
108 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2016
Date Written: April 20, 2016
The paper shows that self-control, time preferences, and values are malleable in adults, and that investments in these skills and preferences reduce crime and violence. The authors recruited criminally-engaged Liberian men and randomized half to eight weeks of group cognitive behavioral therapy, fostering self-regulation, patience, and noncriminal values. They also randomized $200 grants. Cash alone and therapy alone dramatically reduced crime and violence, but effects dissipated within a year. When cash followed therapy, however, crime and violence decreased by as much as 50 percent for at least a year. They hypothesize that cash reinforced therapy's lessons by prolonging practice and self-investment.
Keywords: Inequality, Disability, Economic Assistance, Governance Diagnostic Capacity Building, Macroeconomic Management, Services & Transfers to Poor, Access of Poor to Social Services, Economic Forecasting
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