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Understanding the black–white school discipline gap

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  • Kinsler, Josh

Abstract

At state and national levels, black students are more likely to be suspended from school, and conditional on misbehavior, receive stiffer penalties when compared with white students. Racial bias is often cited as a primary contributor to these gaps. Using infraction data from North Carolina, I investigate gaps in punishment within and across schools, and explore how student–teacher and student–principal race interactions affect discipline. I find a significant statewide gap in discipline that is largely generated by cross-school variation in punishment. In addition, there is little evidence that black students are treated differentially according to teacher or principal race.

Suggested Citation

  • Kinsler, Josh, 2011. "Understanding the black–white school discipline gap," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1370-1383.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:30:y:2011:i:6:p:1370-1383
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2011.07.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Babcock, Philip, 2009. "The rational adolescent: Discipline policies, lawsuits, and skill acquisition," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 551-560, October.
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    5. Jeffrey Grogger, 1995. "The Effect of Arrests on the Employment and Earnings of Young Men," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 51-71.
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    7. Neal, Derek A & Johnson, William R, 1996. "The Role of Premarket Factors in Black-White Wage Differences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 869-895, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Sonja C. Kassenboehmer & Trinh Le & Duncan McVicar & Rong Zhang, 2015. "Is there an educational penalty for being suspended from school?," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(4), pages 376-395, August.
    2. Figlio, D. & Karbownik, K. & Salvanes, K.G., 2016. "Education Research and Administrative Data," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    3. Stephen B. Billings & David J. Deming & Jonah E. Rockoff, 2012. "School Segregation, Educational Attainment and Crime: Evidence from the end of busing in Charlotte-Mecklenburg," NBER Working Papers 18487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Huang, Francis L. & Cornell, Dewey G., 2017. "Student attitudes and behaviors as explanations for the Black-White suspension gap," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 298-308.
    5. Cuellar, Alison Evans & Markowitz, Sara, 2015. "School suspension and the school-to-prison pipeline," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 98-106.
    6. Bekkerman, Anton & Gilpin, Gregory A., 2014. "Can equitable punishment be mandated? Estimating impacts of sentencing guidelines on disciplinary disparities," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 51-61.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Out of school suspension; Racial bias;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality

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