Bullying Among Adolescents: The Role of Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills

60 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2015

See all articles by Miguel Sarzosa

Miguel Sarzosa

University of Maryland

Sergio Urzúa

University of Maryland

Date Written: October 2015

Abstract

Bullying is a behavioral phenomenon that has received increasing attention in recent times. This paper uses a structural model with latent skills and longitudinal information from Korean youths to identify the determinants and effects of bullying. We find that, unlike cognitive skills, non-cognitive skills significantly reduce the chances of being bullied during high school. We use the model to estimate average treatment effects of being bullied at age 15 on several outcomes measured at age 18. We show that bullying is very costly. It increases the probability of smoking as well as the likelihood of feeling sick, depressed, stressed and unsatisfied with life. It also reduces college enrollment and increases the dislike of school. We document that differences in non-cognitive and cognitive skill endowments palliate or exacerbate these consequences. Finally, we explore whether investing in non-cognitive skills could reduce the occurrence of bullying. Our findings indicate that the investment in skill development is key in any policy intended to fight the behavior.

Suggested Citation

Sarzosa, Miguel and Urzúa, Sergio, Bullying Among Adolescents: The Role of Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills (October 2015). NBER Working Paper No. w21631, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2675909

Miguel Sarzosa (Contact Author)

University of Maryland ( email )

College Park
College Park, MD 20742
United States

Sergio Urzúa

University of Maryland ( email )

College Park
College Park, MD 20742
United States

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