Sustainable Transformation for Youth in Liberia| Tuesday, May 19, 2015
We show that self control, time preferences, and values are malleable in adults, and that investments in these skills and preferences reduce crime and violence. We recruited criminally-engaged Liberian men and randomized half to eight weeks of group cognitive behavioral therapy, fostering self regulation, patience, and noncriminal values. We also randomized $200 grants. Cash alone and therapy alone dramatically reduced crime and violence, but effects dissipated within a year. When cash followed therapy, however, crime and violence decreased by as much as 50% for at least a year. We hypothesize that cash reinforced therapy’s lessons by prolonging practice and self-investment.
Download the full policy brief here.
Click here for a brief introduction of the project.