Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Nicholas Kacher

Reader 2

Patrick Van Horn

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

2019 Megan R Witman


This paper measures the impact that changes in expenditures on public education in the Unites States have on crime rates using county-level data. The data used in this study was collected by the National Center for Education Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation over the last two decades and constitutes a comprehensive panel dataset covering the years from 1998 to 2014. Results of the fixed effects regression model used in this study indicate that both expenditure per student and the percent of expenditures spent on instruction are statistically significant at the 1% level and negatively correlated with crime, implying that increasing expenditures on education would lead to a reduction in the crime rate. The results also suggest that this method of crime deterrence is particularly effective in urban areas where there is a higher prevalence of crime. The findings of this study have important policy ramifications and encourage further research into the relative effectiveness of different kinds of crime deterrence methods.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.