Birthdays, schooling, and crime: Regression-discontinuity analysis of school performance, delinquency, dropout, and crime initiation

Philip J. Cook, Songman Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Dropouts have high crime rates, but is there a direct causal link? This study, utilizing administrative data for six cohorts of public school children in North Carolina, demonstrates that those born just after the cut date for enrolling in public kindergarten are more likely to drop out of high school before graduation and to commit a felony offense by age 19. We present suggestive evidence that dropout mediates criminal involvement. Paradoxically, these late-entry students outperform their grade peers academically while still in school, which helps account for the fact that they are less likely to become juvenile delinquents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-57
Number of pages25
JournalAmerican Economic Journal: Applied Economics
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

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