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The rational adolescent: Discipline policies, lawsuits, and skill acquisition


  • Babcock, Philip


The paper estimates the response of student truancy and long-run labor market outcomes to discipline policies in middle and secondary school. Simultaneous determination of student behaviors and school policies motivates an instrumental variables strategy. Because judicial climate influences administrators' fear of discipline-related lawsuits, measures of judicial-legal climate at the state-level court are used as instruments for local discipline policies. Results indicate that the state-level judicial-legal climate does appear to influence administrators' discipline policies; that students appear to be truant less often when discipline is stricter; and that school and long-run labor participation outcomes appear higher for students from schools with stricter discipline policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Babcock, Philip, 2009. "The rational adolescent: Discipline policies, lawsuits, and skill acquisition," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 551-560, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:28:y:2009:i:5:p:551-560

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael Kremer & Edward Miguel & Rebecca Thornton, 2009. "Incentives to Learn," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(3), pages 437-456, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Waddell, G.R., 2012. "Adolescent drug use and the deterrent effect of school-imposed penalties," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 961-969.
    2. Kinsler, Josh, 2011. "Understanding the black–white school discipline gap," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1370-1383.

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    Human capital Demand for schooling;


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