School & District Management Report Roundup

Schooling Yields Financial Rewards for Mobsters, Researchers Find

By Sarah D. Sparks — October 11, 2016 1 min read
Al Capone, the late Chicago gangster

More years of schooling pay off—even for mobsters, a study published in the Economics of Education has found.

Researchers compared more than 700 known members of the Italian-American mafia in the 1940s with several different groups of male contemporaries in the 1940 U.S. Census, including neighbors who weren’t in the mob, other first- and second-generation Italian-American immigrants, and U.S.-born men from other backgrounds.

The authors found that the mob-affiliated men on average had a year less of formal education than their unaffiliated neighbors. However, mobsters saw twice the income return on investment for furthering their education than the men from other Italian and immigrant groups. More education increased mobsters’ incomes by 7.5 percent to 8.5 percent a year on average, though that’s still 2 percentage points to 5 percentage points less than the gains for U.S.-born men.

One reason why, the authors suggest, is that criminal syndicates require more complex math and logistics skills than typical street crimes. The most successful mobsters, like the infamous Chicago kingpin Al Capone, also ran above-board businesses.

But extra years in school probably also came in handy for nefarious purposes. The mobsters with the highest financial return on their education were involved in more complex and math-centric enterprises, like embezzling and racketeering. Those white-collar criminals had a three-times-higher return on educational investment than mobsters involved in violent crimes like robberies and murders.

The study also likely underestimates the effect of education in the criminal world. After all, it only looked at the mobsters who got caught.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the October 12, 2016 edition of Education Week as Schooling Yields Financial Rewards for Mobsters, Researchers Find

Events

School & District Management Live Event EdWeek Leadership Symposium
Education Week's Premier Leadership Event for K12 School & District Leaders.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Law & Courts Webinar
The Future of Criminal Justice Reform: A Sphere Education Initiative Conversation
America’s criminal justice system is in crisis and calls for reform are dominating the national debate. Join Cato’s Sphere Education Initiative and Education Week for a webinar on criminal justice and policing featuring the nation’s
Content provided by Cato Institute
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Equity, Care and Connection: New SEL Tools and Practices to Support Students and Adults
As school districts plan to welcome students back into buildings for the upcoming school year, this is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and our systems to build a
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Districts Are Spending Millions on ‘Unproven’ Air Purifiers
Schools are buying technology that academic air-quality experts warn can lull them into a false sense of security or even harm kids.
Lauren Weber, Kaiser Health News & Christina Jewett, Kaiser Health News
13 min read
A student listens to a presentation in Health class at Windsor Locks High School in Windsor Locks, Conn. on March 18, 2021.
A student listens to a presentation in health class at Windsor Locks High School in Windsor Locks, Conn.
Jessica Hill/AP
School & District Management Teachers' Mental Health Has Suffered in the Pandemic. Here's How Districts Can Help
Teachers’ stress and anxiety have soared during the pandemic, making it critical for districts to look after their mental health.
9 min read
Woman working at computer.
Getty
School & District Management Remote Learning Isn't Going Away. Will It Create Separate—and Unequal—School Systems?
Demand for remote learning is likely to continue in the fall, raising concerns about the quality of education virtual students will receive.
9 min read
Veronica Esquivel, 10, finishes her homework after her virtual school hours while her brother Isias Esquivel sits in front of his computer on Feb. 10, 2021, at their residence in Chicago's predominantly Hispanic Pilsen neighborhood. Her mother, Rosa, worries that her diabetes and her husband's high blood pressure could put their lives at risk if their kids brought the coronavirus home from school.
Veronica Esquivel, 10, finishes her homework after virtual school, while her brother Isias Esquivel sits in front of his computer in their Chicago home in February. Their mother worried that sending them back to in-person learning would put her and her husband at risk for getting COVID-19.
Shafkat Anowar/AP
School & District Management Opinion Young People Have a Desire to Save Their World. How Can We Help?
Young people have an interest in learning and an innate desire to be part of saving society. Why do adults stand in the way?
Michael Fullan & Joanne Quinn
5 min read
Michael Fullan   FCG
Shutterstock