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Free lunch for all? The impact of universal school lunch on student misbehavior

Duha T. Altindag, Deokrye Baek, Hong Lee and Jessica Merkle

Economics of Education Review, 2020, vol. 74, issue C

Abstract: South Korean primary and secondary schools have been providing free lunches only to low-income students since the 1980s. In the early 2010s, the Free School Meal Program (FSMP) expanded the provision of free lunches to all students, without altering the nutritional content of the school meals or the school meal take-up rate, which has always been very high. We investigate the impact of this universal school lunch program on the incidence of misbehavior in schools. We find that FSMP reduces the number of behavioral incidents, particularly physical fights between students, by about 35%.

Keywords: Free and reduced-price lunch; Bullying; Universal welfare; Student Behavior (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 I22 I24 I30 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2019.101945

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