The only way to stop crime is to increase education levels
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The only way to stop crime is to increase education levels


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Assignment question:

The only way to stop crime is to increase education levels 


You have provided some excellent points for your argument. What about white collar crime? In your essay, clarify your two disciplinary perspectives from which you will be discussing the topic, and remember to directly and explicitly compare and contrast these perspectives.


This essay will inspect whether education is a universal cure for rise in crime levels. In furtherance of this objective, the essay would examine three main arguments in favour of increasing education levels to prevent crimes. The primary question this essay will attempt to answer is whether or not education really is the only way to stop crime? This essay would also analyse the theories which act in support of the arguments put forth in the text subsequently. These arguments will endeavour to analyse the conceptual differences as to how education may prevent crime. The arguments will be made in order to analyse the effectiveness of each approach. Here it is important to note that these approaches are put forth in light of violent crimes and attempts to breakdown how education would disable individuals from indulging in criminal activity.


Criminal activity has enormous social costs. (Lance Lochner 2003) . The positive impact of education in reducing crimes was acknowledged by the United Nations while adopting the Doha Declaration (UNODC n.d.) where they noted that to insure sustainable development the first step is to ensure universal education for children in order to prevent crime and corruption. (UNODC n.d.) In fact, a study conducted by the University of West Ontario and Department of Economics, UCLA, concluded that schooling significantly reduces the probability of incarceration. (Lance Lochner 2003)  The nature of crimes may be varied although this essay essentially will examine the effect of education and the impact it has on the minds of individuals who are likely to commit violent crimes or white-collar crimes.

The three arguments acting in favour of education as a means of change will be elucidated in length hereunder. The first argument being that formal and universal education will enable an individual to form rational decisions and thus, help them weigh the risks and gravity of punishments. This approach presents an important question; whether the capacity of to avert risk can be affected by education? To answer this, it is important to study the literature pertaining to the capacity of an individual to avert risk.  Von Neumann and Morgenstern were the first to study about the concept of risk aversion in their Theory of Games and Economic Behaviour in 1954. (Padilla 2012).  This theory revolves around the assumption that every decision is made in the face of uncertainty. (Levin 2006)  To draw a nexus between this theory and the present question it can be clearly observed that violent crimes are often committed in the face of uncertainty. This would mean that, a rise in education levels would as a result enable an individual to avert risk and encourage them to form decisions which are rationale. At this point, it is important to recall the theory of risk aversion by Arrow whereby, he laid down that schooling will enable an individual to understand the psychic costs of breaking the law, thus disabling him/her to act in a deviant manner. An analysis of the aforementioned theories reveal that only compulsory education can enable an individual to understand the result of breaking the law and subsequent punishments. Here it is important to keep in mind that criminals commit the crime when they perceive the expected benefits of committing a crime are greater than the expected costs i.e. punishments (Ordonez 2007).

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