More Charter Schools, Less Teen Suicide

School choice allows families to choose schools that are more suited to their children. These choices may affect non-academic outcomes, including students’ mental health. We empirically examine the relationship between school choice and mental health using two methods. First, we use difference-in-differences to estimate the effects of state voucher and charter school laws on adolescent suicide rates. States adopting charter school laws witness declines in adolescent suicides, whereas private school voucher laws are generally not associated with statistically significant changes in suicides. Second, we use survey data to estimate the effects of private schooling on adult mental health. Controlling for a post-baseline measure of mental health and a variety of individual characteristics, the estimates suggest that private schooling reduces the likelihood that individuals report having mental health issues as adults.

This is the abstract of Corey A. DeAngelis and Angela K. Dills, “The effects of school choice on mental health,” School Effectiveness and School Improvement, December 3, 2020.

Here’s one of the key paragraphs:

Across all specifications, the estimated effect of a charter school law is robust: States adopting charter schools witnessed declines in adolescent suicide rates. The estimated effect of a charter school law translates to about a 10% decrease in the suicide rate among 15- to 19-year-olds. Voucher programs, tax credit scholarships, and ESAs assist 468,199 students (EdChoice, 2019c); charter schools enrolled more than 6 times as many students, 2.9 million, in 2015 (National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, 2015). The larger number of students affected by charter schools suggests more potential for affecting children’s outcomes.

Read the whole thing.


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Sunday assorted links

1. Ross D. on when you can’t just trust the science (NYT). 2. Markets in everything: Covid-19 Christmas sweater that ensures social distancing – it flashes and sounds alarm when people get too close. 3. “Unexpectedly, information critical of President Trump’s policy decisions produced a backlash causing people to show less concern about the virus’s […]

The post Sunday assorted links appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

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Adding Demand to Increase Excess Demand

Possible 11th Pillar of Economic Wisdom: When you’re in a hole, stop digging.

One of the most absurd things that have happened with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is that politicians have been trying to increase demand for a vaccine of which, not surprisingly at a zero price, there is a shortage.

The rationale for putting Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, Mike Pence, and Karen Pence at the front of the line way ahead of almost all of the rest of us is that it will persuade people that it’s safe and those otherwise-hesitant people will be more willing to take it. They might be more willing to take it, but if that’s the rationale, the rationale makes zero sense in December. Tens of millions of us are ready to take it now. There’s no need to persuade people to take it when there isn’t enough in the short term to satisfy all willing takers.

Hmmm. Do you think there might be another reason for Pelosi, McConnell, and Pence to take it now? Let’s scratch our heads really hard and we might come up with a reason.

Here it is. They’re selfish people who are using their privileged position to get immunized. This is Newsom French Laundry all over again.

This “patriotic” behavior on their part is the opposite of admirable.


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