Trauma at School: The Impacts of Shootings on Students' Human Capital and Economic Outcomes
78 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2021 Last revised: 25 May 2022
Date Written: December 2020
We examine how shootings at schools—an increasingly common form of gun violence in the United States—impact the educational and economic trajectories of students. Using linked schooling and labor market data in Texas from 1992 to 2018, we compare within-student and across-cohort changes in outcomes following a shooting to those experienced by students at matched control schools. We find that school shootings increase absenteeism and grade repetition; reduce high school graduation, college enrollment, and college completion; and reduce employment and earnings at ages 24–26. We further find school-level increases in the number of leadership staff and reductions in retention among teachers and teaching support staff in the years following a shooting. The adverse impacts of shootings span student characteristics, suggesting that the economic costs of school shootings are universal.
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