Criminal justice involvement and high school completion
This paper analyzes the relationships between juvenile justice system interactions and high school graduation. When controlling for a large set of observable and unobservable characteristics, arrested and incarcerated individuals are about 11 and 26 percentage points, respectively, less likely to graduate high school than non-arrested individuals. However, the effect of arrest is not robust to there being relatively little selection on unobservable characteristics. In contrast, the incarceration effect is less sensitive to such selection and therefore more likely to at least partially represent a real effect. The remainder of the paper explores the mechanisms underlying this incarceration effect, including hypotheses of an education impeding stigma and disruptions in human capital accumulation.
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