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Title: Essays on crime, education, and life-paths
Authors: Rodriguez-Uribe, Arantxa
Advisors: N. Shapiro, Jacob
Contributors: Politics Department
Subjects: Political science
Issue Date: 2023
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation presents three essays on the political economy of gang control and violence, with a focus on understanding the consequences it can have on youth’s human capital accumulation. I explore this issue in Medellín, Colombia. In the first chapter, joint with Christopher Blattman and Santiago Tobón, we study how adolescents living in areas with gang presence think about potential future occupational choices. In this chapter, I present preliminary results of an on-going original survey with 13 and 14-year-old adolescent males in high-risk gang recruitment neighborhoods. First, we use this survey to assess risk factors associated with gang interest. Second, we estimate a structural model of career path choice under budget constraints to investigate how different factors influence adolescent's career choice. We find that not only monetary incentives, but also importantly non-monetary rewards (status and enjoyment) as well as non-monetary costs (effort needed to fulfill education requirements) significantly influence adolescent's potential career choice. In the second chapter, I analyze how the enforcement of gang's territorial borders affects youth's human capital accumulation. I focus on the period between 2009 and 2012 when a city-wide gang turf took place. I map the borders of one of the competing factions and perform a spatial regression discontinuity using geolocated individual level data on educational enrollment in public institutions. I find that the probability of dropping out of schooling before finishing high school is 8 p.p. higher for male students 13 years old or older living inside the gang border than for same age male students living only 100 meters from (and outside) the gang border. In the third chapter, I examine the effect that exposure to homicidal violence has on youth's human capital accumulation. I measure exposure at the school-level and explore this question using a fixed effects design. I do not find statistically significant results of the effect of exposure to homicidal violence on school dropout for the full sample. However, I do find suggestive evidence of exposure to homicidal violence increasing the probability of dropout for primary students.
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Politics

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