IZA DP No. 599: Catholic Schools and Bad Behavior
published in: B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy: Contributions to Economic Analysis and Policy, 2006, 5(1), Article 13
Although there is a sizeable literature of the effect of private school attendance on academic student outcomes, there is a dearth of studies of the impact of school sector on non-academic outcomes. Using a rich data set, we analyze the impact of Catholic school attendance on the likelihood that teens use or sell drugs, commit property crime, have sex, join gangs, attempt suicide, and run away from home. Controlling for a host of personal and family background characteristics and adjusting for the endogeneity of sector choice, we cannot find evidence that Catholic schooling leads to a lower incidence of these risky behaviors among teenagers.