Poster Paper: The Effect of High School Shootings On Schools and Student Performance

Saturday, November 9, 2013
West End Ballroom A (Washington Marriott)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Louis-Philippe Beland, University of Montreal and Dongwoo Kim, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
We analyze how shootings in high schools affect schools and students using data from shooting databases, school report cards, and the Common Core of Data. We examine schools' test scores, enrollment, and number of teachers, as well as graduation, attendance, and suspension rates at schools that experienced a shooting, employing a difference-in-differences strategy that uses other high schools in the same district as the comparison group. Our findings suggest that shootings significantly decrease the enrollment of students in grade 9, test scores in math and English, and the number of suspensions. We find that homicidal shootings reduce enrollment and test scores, with no statistically significant effect for suicidal shootings. Using restricted student-level data from California, we confirm that the effects on student outcomes operate through students remaining enrolled and not only through a composition effect.