Schools as Places of Crime? Evidence from Closing Chronically Underperforming Schools


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Contributed to by past PISC trainee Benjamin Ukert and Executive Committee member John MacDonald, this study aimed at leveraging the closing of chronically underperforming public schools in Philadelphia to estimate their impact on neighborhood crime. The decline in violent crime was most apparently in blocks where high schools closed, during weekday hours when school would have been in session. While crime increased in blocks that enrolled a larger share of students displaced due to closures, the displacement of crime was significantly smaller in magnitude than the total crime reduction.

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