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Atlantic Economic Journal

, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 313–335 | Cite as

Childhood Bullying and Labor Market Outcomes in The United States

  • Swati MukerjeeEmail author
Article

Abstract

This paper contributes to a nascent economic literature on bullying. Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 data, I explored the relationship between childhood bullying and later earnings. Since males and females are usually subject to different kinds of bullying and coping strategies vary with age, I distinguished between pre-teen and teenage bullying by gender. After delineating the pathways by which being bullied could potentially lead to lower earnings, the analysis first considered the probability of being bullied either as a teenager or before the age of 12. Next, after a simple ordinary least squares analysis of a human capital earnings function, a detailed propensity score analysis with multiple matching schemes was undertaken separately for males and females, further subdivided by when bullying had occurred. Results indicated males bullied as teenagers had earnings 23% lower than their non-bullied counterparts. Females did not suffer this penalty, nor did children who were bullied only below the age of 12. However, being bullied in childhood increased significantly the probability of being bullied later. In terms of human capital formation and possible impact on later productivity, teen bullying may be affecting men the most. Current findings may also be useful in encouraging a targeted focus on those who may be in greater danger of being bullied. Children who have changed schools several times, males with a learning disability, or a vision, speech or hearing problem, and females with some kind of deformity would be targeted significantly more.

Keywords

Childhood bullying Teen bullying Pre-teen bullying Earnings Gender 

JEL

J00 J4 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Special thanks go to Karen Conway of UNH, Dhaval Dave of NBER and Bentley University and Stephen Grubaugh of Bentley University for their insightful comments and valuable suggestions. I also want to thank Arun Venugopal for his research assistance.

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Copyright information

© International Atlantic Economic Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Economics DepartmentBentley UniversityWalthamUSA

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