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Reducing Crime and Violence: Experimental Evidence from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Liberia

Reducing Crime and Violence: Experimental Evidence from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Liberia

We recruited criminally engaged men and randomized one-half to eight weeks of cognitive behavioral therapy designed to foster self-regulation, patience, and a noncriminal identity and lifestyle. We also randomized $200 grants. Cash alone and therapy alone initially reduced crime and violence, but effects dissipated over time. When cash followed therapy, crime and violence decreased dramatically for at least a year. We hypothesize that cash reinforced therapy’s impacts by prolonging learning-by-doing, lifestyle changes, and self-investment.

Category:Publications
Country:Liberia
Language:English
Year:2017
Institution:American Economic Review
Author:Christopher Blattman, Julian C. Jamison, and Margaret Sheridan

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