School Accountability, Long-Run Criminal Activity, and Self-Sufficiency
This paper examines the impact of school accountability on adult crime and economic self-sufficiency. We employ a unique source of linked administrative data from a Southern state and exploit exogenous variation generated by the state's accountability regime. Our findings indicate that a school's receipt of a lower accountability rating, at the bottom end of the ratings distribution, decreases adult criminal involvement. Accountability pressures also reduce the propensity of students' reliance on social welfare programs in adulthood and these effects persist at least until when individuals reach their early 30s. Further examination reveals that our results are consistent with an explanation related to improvements in human capital accumulation.
The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.