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Is There an Educational Penalty for Being Suspended from School?

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  • Deborah A. Cobb-Clark

    ()
    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne; and Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA))

  • Sonja C. Kassenboehmer

    ()
    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne; and Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA))

  • Trinh Le

    (Department of Economics, The University of Waikato)

  • Duncan McVicar

    (Queen's University Management School, Queen's University, Belfast)

  • Rong Zhang

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

Abstract

Suspension from school is a commonly-used, yet controversial, school disciplinary measure. This paper uses unique survey data to estimate the impact of suspension on the educational outcomes of those suspended. It finds that while suspension is strongly associated with educational outcomes, the relationship is unlikely to be causal, but rather stems from differences in the characteristics of those suspended compared to those not suspended. Moreover, there is no evidence that suspension is associated with larger educational penalties for young people from disadvantaged family backgrounds compared to those from more advantaged family backgrounds. These results hold regardless of whether self-reported suspension or mother-reported suspension is considered. The absence of a negative causal impact of suspension on educational outcomes suggests that suspension may continue to play a role in school discipline without harming the educational prospects of those sanctioned.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne in its series Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series with number wp2013n36.

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Length: 33pp
Date of creation: Oct 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2013n36

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Postal: Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 Australia
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Keywords: School suspension; school discipline; educational achievement; educational attainment; causal effect;

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  1. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
  2. Kinsler, Josh, 2011. "Understanding the black–white school discipline gap," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1370-1383.
  3. Edward C. Norton & Hua Wang & Chunrong Ai, 2004. "Computing interaction effects and standard errors in logit and probit models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(2), pages 154-167, June.
  4. Jordan, Jeffrey L. & Anil, Bulent, 2009. "Race, Gender, School Discipline, and Human Capital Effects," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 41(02), August.
  5. Mustafa C. Karakus & David S. Salkever & Eric P. Slade & Nicholas Ialongo & Elizabeth Stuart, 2012. "Implications of middle school behavior problems for high school graduation and employment outcomes of young adults: estimation of a recursive model," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(1), pages 33-52, April.
  6. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2000. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," NBER Working Papers 7831, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Chris Ryan & Ana Sartbayeva, 2009. "Taking Chances: The Effect of Growing Up on Welfare on the Risky Behaviour of Young People," CEPR Discussion Papers 604, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  8. Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Chris Ryan & Anastasia Sartbayeva, 2012. "Taking Chances: The Effect that Growing Up on Welfare Has on the Risky Behavior of Young People," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(3), pages 729-755, 09.
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