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Last and furious: Relative position and school violence

Simona Comi, Federica Origo (), Laura Pagani and Marco Tonello

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2021, vol. 188, issue C, 736-756

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 negatively affects 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 migrants and for students attending lower-quality schools and living in high-crime areas; this finding is consistent with the lower perceived opportunity cost associated with misbehavior among disadvantaged students in low-quality schools and located in violent local contexts.

Keywords: School rank; School violence (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 I24 K40 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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Working Paper: Last and Furious: Relative Position and School Violence (2020) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:188:y:2021:i:c:p:736-756

DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2021.05.026

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