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School size and youth violence

  • Leung, Ambrose
  • Ferris, J. Stephen

This paper investigates one aspect of the relationship between school size and education outcomes-- whether school size is associated with youth violence. The importance of this question is underlined by the prevalent view that large school sizes are needed to realize production scale economies. Such a consensus would need to be revisited if such cost savings were counterbalanced by students' growing frustration, higher dropout rates and student violence. Recently the effect of school size on school violence has been analyzed with data collected from U.S. schools. However, the use of school centered data may create its own "selection bias". A main goal of this paper is to retest the hypothesis on a micro-database centered on youth. Using a sample of inner city Montreal males, self-reported incidents of violent behaviour are used to see if school size has an independent effect on youth violence. Other demographic characteristics are included as controls.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 65 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (February)
Pages: 318-333

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:65:y:2008:i:2:p:318-333
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

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  1. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1996. "School Resources and Student Outcomes: An Overview of the Literature and New Evidence from North and South Carolina," NBER Working Papers 5708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Kenny, Lawrence W., 1982. "Economies of scale in schooling," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 1-24, February.
  3. J. Stephen Ferris & Edwin G. West, 2002. "Economies of Scale, School Violence, and the Optimal Size of Schools," Carleton Economic Papers 02-01, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
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  12. Landon, Stuart, 1999. "Education costs and institutional structure," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 327-345, June.
  13. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E, 1998. "Competition between Private and Public Schools, Vouchers, and Peer-Group Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 33-62, March.
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