WORKING PAPER SERIES

Private School Choice and Character: More Evidence from Milwaukee

Corey A. DeAngelis, Ph.D.

Patrick J. Wolf, Ph.D.

February 26, 2019

EDRE Working Paper 2019-03

Abstract

We examine the effects of Milwaukee’s school voucher program on adult criminal activity and paternity suits. Using matched student-level data, we find that exposure to the program in 8th or 9th grade predicts lower rates of conviction for criminal activity and lower rates of paternity suits by ages 25 to 28. Specifically, exposure to the MPCP is associated with a reduction of around 53 percent in drug convictions, 86 percent in property damage convictions, and 38 percent in paternity suits. The program effects tend to be largest for males and students with lower levels of academic achievement at baseline.

Keywords: bottom-up reform; school violence; character education; school voucher; private schooling; religious schooling; school choice
JEL Classifications: I28, I20