Last and Furious: Relative Position and School Violence

50 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2020

See all articles by Simona Comi

Simona Comi

University of Milan

Federica Origo

University of Bergamo

Laura Pagani

University of Milan, Bicocca - Faculty of Economics; Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Economics, Psychology & Social Sciences (CISEPS); Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS)

Marco Tonello

Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of a high school student's relative position in the class achievement distribution on school violence. We identify this effect by exploiting idiosyncratic differences in the distribution of earlier academic achievement across classes. Such differences generate quasi-random variation in rank for students with the same initial achievement. We consider distinct types of school violence, namely, verbal, relational and physical violence. We find that rank has a negative effect on both the probability and frequency of perpetrating school violence for all the specific types of violence considered. The effect size is economically significant, especially in the case of physical violence. We find that rank is less or not effective in reducing physical violence for low-background students, migrants, in lower-quality schools and in high-crime areas, consistent with the lower perceived opportunity costs associated with misbehavior for disadvantaged students in low quality schools and located in violent local contexts.

Keywords: school rank, school violence

JEL Classification: I21, I24, K40

Suggested Citation

Comi, Simona and Origo, Federica and Pagani, Laura and Tonello, Marco, Last and Furious: Relative Position and School Violence. IZA Discussion Paper No. 13554, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3665114

Simona Comi (Contact Author)

University of Milan ( email )

Via Festa del Perdono, 7
Milan, 20122
Italy

Federica Origo

University of Bergamo ( email )

Via Salvecchio, 19
Bergamo, 24129
Italy

Laura Pagani

University of Milan, Bicocca - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Italy

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Economics, Psychology & Social Sciences (CISEPS) ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milano, 20126
Italy

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS) ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milan, 20126
Italy

Marco Tonello

Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan ( email )

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