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Externalities in the Classroom: How Children Exposed



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Externalities in the Classroom How Children Exposed to Domestic Violence Affect Everyone s Kids June 10 2009 Scott E Carrell UC Davis and NBER Mark L Hoekstra University of Pittsburgh Abstract There is widespread perception that externalities from troubled children are significant though measuring them is difficult due to data and methodological limitations We estimate the negative spillovers caused by children from troubled families by exploiting a unique data set in which children s school records are matched to domestic violence cases We find that children from troubled families significantly decrease their peers reading and math test scores and increase misbehavior in the classroom The achievement spillovers are robust to within family differences and when controlling for school by year effects providing strong evidence that neither selection nor common shocks are driving the results JEL Classifications J12 D62 I21 Key Words Externalities Peer Effects Domestic Violence Scott Carrell UC Davis Department of Economics One Shields Ave Davis CA 95616 email secarrell ucdavis edu Mark Hoekstra University of Pittsburgh Department of Economics 4714 W Posvar Hall 230 S Bouquet Street Pittsburgh PA 15260 email markhoek pitt edu Special thanks to Susan Carrell Dennis Epple David Figlio Caroline Hoxby Alexis Le n Jason Lindo Mel Lucas Doug Miller Marianne Page Katherine Russ Nick Sanders Melvin Stephens and seminar participants at Carnegie Mellon University the University of Pittsburgh Texas A M University and the 2008 NBER Summer Institute for their helpful comments and suggestions This project was supported with a grant from the UK Center for Poverty Research through the U S Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation grant number 2 U01 PE000002 07 The opinions and conclusions expressed herein are solely those of the authors and should not be construed as representing the opinions or policies of the UKCPRC or any



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