Weiner, David, Lutz, Byron, & Ludwig, Jens
The Effects of School Desegregation on Crime
University of Pennsylvania, University of Chicago
Estimate the effects of court-ordered school desegregation on crime.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
NBER -National Bureau of Economics
Working Paper 15380
- For Black youth, homicide victimization declines by around 25 percent when court orders are implemented and homicide arrests also decline significantly, which seem to be due at least in part to increased schooling attainment.
- Positive spillover effects to other groups, with beneficial changes in homicide involvement for Black adults and perhaps Whites as well.
- Imposition of these court orders in the nation's largest school districts lowered the homicide rate to Black teens and young adults nationwide by around 13 percent, and might account for around one-quarter of the convergence in Black-White homicide rates over the period from 1970 to 1980.
- Findings provide suggestive support for the hypothesis that desegregation orders may have reduced victimization and offending among older Blacks by making younger Blacks less criminogenic and victimogenic.
- Find that education spending per child increases by around $175 per pupil (1990 dollars) following court desegregation orders, about 6 percent of the sample means of $2,750.
Secondary Survey Data
Method of Analysis:
Large Urban School Districts
Unit of Analysis:
- Dataset compiled by Welch and Light  for the US Commission on Civil Rights. These data covers all districts that in 1968 were 20 to 90 percent minority with enrollments of 50,000+, and a random sample of districts that were 10 to 90 percent minority with enrollments of between 15,000-50,000.
- Data also comes from county population data from the Census and the VS interpolations for inter-censal years.
- Also used victimization data from the SHR.
- Main interest is to examine how homicide victimization rates for White or Black youth change in response to court school desegregation orders.
- DV: Homicide victimization rates
- IV: Desegregation plan implemented years beforehand, county population in the age-race group, median household income, percent of population over age of 25 with a high school degree, percent of employment in manufacturing, percent non-white.