Is There an Educational Penalty for Being Suspended from School?

33 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2013

See all articles by Deborah A. Cobb-Clark

Deborah A. Cobb-Clark

School of Economics, University of Sydney; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Sonja C. Kassenboehmer

Monash University - Centre for Health Economics

Trinh Le

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust

Duncan McVicar

Queen's University Belfast; Queen's University Belfast - Queen's Management School

Rong Zhang

Monash Business School; Nishinippon Institute of Technology

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Abstract

Suspension from school is a commonly-used, yet controversial, school disciplinary measure. This paper uses unique survey data to estimate the impact of suspension on the educational outcomes of those suspended. It finds that while suspension is strongly associated with educational outcomes, the relationship is unlikely to be causal, but rather stems from differences in the characteristics of those suspended compared to those not suspended. Moreover, there is no evidence that suspension is associated with larger educational penalties for young people from disadvantaged family backgrounds compared to those from more advantaged family backgrounds. These results hold regardless of whether self-reported suspension or mother-reported suspension is considered. The absence of a negative causal impact of suspension on educational outcomes suggests that suspension may continue to play a role in school discipline without harming the educational prospects of those sanctioned.

Keywords: school suspension, school discipline, educational achievement, educational attainment, causal effect

JEL Classification: I24, I28

Suggested Citation

Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. and Kassenboehmer, Sonja C. and Le, Trinh and McVicar, Duncan and Zhang, Rong, Is There an Educational Penalty for Being Suspended from School?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7794. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2367669

Deborah A. Cobb-Clark (Contact Author)

School of Economics, University of Sydney ( email )

606 Social Sciences Bldg. (A02)
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia
61435061387 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Sonja C. Kassenboehmer

Monash University - Centre for Health Economics ( email )

Building 75, 15 Innovation Walk
Monash University
Clayton, Victoria 3800
Australia

Trinh Le

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust ( email )

Level 1, 93 Cuba Street
P.O. Box 24390
Wellington, 6142
New Zealand

Duncan McVicar

Queen's University Belfast ( email )

25 University Square
Belfast, BT7 1NN
Ireland

Queen's University Belfast - Queen's Management School

Riddel Hall
185 Stranmillis Road
Belfast, BT9 5EE
United Kingdom

Rong Zhang

Monash Business School ( email )

Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria 3168
Australia

Nishinippon Institute of Technology ( email )

1-2-11, Muromachi, Kokura-kita,
Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture 803-8787
Japan

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