Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 473–502 | Cite as

Do anti-bullying laws work? New evidence on school safety and youth violence

Original Paper

Abstract

This study is the first to comprehensively examine the effect of state anti-bullying laws (ABLs) on school safety and youth violence. Using existing data from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveys and the Uniform Crime Reports, and newly-collected data on school shootings, we find little evidence that the typical state ABL is effective in improving school safety and student well-being. However, this null finding masks substantial policy heterogeneity. State mandates that require school districts to implement strong, comprehensive anti-bullying policies are associated with a 7 to 13 % reduction in school violence and an 8 to 12 % reduction in bullying. In addition, our results show that strong anti-bullying policy mandates are associated with a reduction in minor teen school shooting deaths and violent crime arrests, suggesting potentially important spillover effects.

Keywords

Bullying Youth violence Anti-bullying laws School shootings 

JEL Classification

I28 I18 K0 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.San Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA
  2. 2.University of New HampshireDurhamUSA
  3. 3.Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)BonnGermany
  4. 4.University of California–IrvineIrvineUSA

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