The Effects of School Choice on Mental Health
27 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2018
Date Written: October 24, 2018
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 broad-based voucher programs and charter schools witness declines in adolescent 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 number of times individuals are seen for mental health issues.
Keywords: school choice; school vouchers; charter schools; mental health; non-cognitive skills
JEL Classification: I28, I20
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation