Private School Choice and Crime: Evidence from Milwaukee


Corey A. DeAngelis, Patrick J. Wolf




Social Science Quarterly


This study aimed to understand if school choice programs help reduce the general crime rates when in students when they become adults. Using a unique data collection process, the two authors evaluated criminal rates among young adults who attended a school program in Milwaukee, one of the first cities or states to provide school choice as a legitimate and viable option to parents and students.

Although the results do not have a certain finding, they do show that simply exposing a student to a private school environment is associated with a lower general crime rate. Additionally, if a student went through 12 years of education at a private/non-traditional public school, they were much less likely to have a criminal record than their counterparts in the public-school system. The two authors argue that the more time a student participates in a voucher school choice program, the less likely they are to have a criminal record.

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