...To determine the program effects on early school leaving and educational attainment, we linked the experimental data to education data of Statistics Netherlands, such that we could track the educational careers of juvenile first-offenders who were invited to participate in the experiment. 19 percent of the juveniles in the Halt group did not complete the program and to control for the potential bias that is imposed by the (un)observed selective dropout we apply an instrumental variable approach in which we instrument actual participation by the assignment status.
The empirical results show that the restorative justice program Halt reduces early school leaving by 6 percentage points and increases years of education attained by 0.29 years. Tests for heterogeneous treatment effects indicate that there are insignificant differences for subgroups in the sense that the program effects are (insignificantly) smaller for boys, adolescents whose parents are born in the Netherlands and juveniles in single parent households. Our findings therefore show that criminal intervention programs targeted at juveniles can significantly improve educational outcomes and, hence, that criminal policies can be used to improve educational outcomes.
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