Stephen B. Billings
University of Colorado
Department of Finance
Leeds School of Business
Boulder, CO 80309
Institutional Affiliation: University of Colorado
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|September 2019||The School to Prison Pipeline: Long-Run Impacts of School Suspensions on Adult Crime|
with Andrew Bacher-Hicks, David J. Deming: w26257
Schools face important policy tradeoffs in monitoring and managing student behavior. Strict discipline policies may stigmatize suspended students and expose them to the criminal justice system at a young age. On the other hand, strict discipline acts as a deterrent and limits harmful spillovers of misbehavior onto other students. This paper estimates the net impact of school discipline on student achievement, educational attainment and adult criminal activity. Using exogenous variation in school assignment caused by a large and sudden boundary change and a supplementary design based on principal switches, we show that schools with higher suspension rates have substantial negative long-run impacts. Students assigned to a school that has a one standard deviation higher suspension rate are 15...
|April 2019||Schools, Neighborhoods, and the Long-Run Effect of Crime-Prone Peers|
with Mark Hoekstra: w25730
This paper examines how elementary-aged peers affect cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes from adolescence to adulthood. We identify effects by exploiting within-school and within-neighborhood variation in the proportion of peers with an arrested parent. Results indicate exposure to these peers reduces achievement and increases antisocial behavior during middle and high school. More importantly, we estimate that a five percentage point increase in school and neighborhood crime-prone peers increases arrest rates at age 19 - 21 by 6.5 and 2.6 percent, respectively. Additional evidence suggests these effects are due to attending school with crime-prone peers, rather than living in the same neighborhood.
|February 2016||Partners in Crime: Schools, Neighborhoods and the Formation of Criminal Networks|
with David J. Deming, Stephen L. Ross: w21962
Why do crime rates differ greatly across neighborhoods and schools? Comparing youth who were assigned to opposite sides of newly drawn school boundaries, we show that concentrating disadvantaged youth together in the same schools and neighborhoods increases total crime. We then show that these youth are more likely to be arrested for committing crimes together – to be “partners in crime”. Our results suggest that direct peer interaction is a key mechanism for social multipliers in criminal behavior. As a result, policies that increase residential and school segregation will – all else equal – increase crime through the formation of denser criminal networks.
|October 2012||School Segregation, Educational Attainment and Crime: Evidence from the end of busing in Charlotte-Mecklenburg|
with David J. Deming, Jonah E. Rockoff: w18487
We study the impact of the end of race-based busing in Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools ("CMS") on academic achievement, educational attainment, and young adult crime. In 2001, CMS was prohibited from using race in assigning students to schools. School boundaries were redrawn dramatically to reflect the surrounding neighborhoods, and half of its students received a new assignment. Using addresses measured prior to the policy change, we compare students in the same neighborhood that lived on opposite sides of a newly drawn boundary. We find that both white and minority students score lower on high school exams when they are assigned to schools with more minority students. We also find decreases in high school graduation and four-year college attendance for whites, and large increases in crime ...
Published: School Segregation, Educational Attainment, and Crime: Evidence from the End of Busing in Charlotte-Mecklenburg* Stephen B. Billings, David J. Deming and Jonah Rockoff The Quarterly Journal of Economics (2014) 129 (1): 435-476. doi: 10.1093/qje/qjt026 First published online: September 17, 2013