Abstract

In this paper we study the impact on student absenteeism of a large, school-based community crime monitoring program that employed local community members to monitor and report crime on designated city blocks during times when students traveled to and from school. We find that the program resulted in a 0.58 percentage point (8.5 percent) reduction in the elementary school-level absence rate in the years following initial implementation. We discuss and explore potential channels to explain this and believe our results are most consistent with improved neighborhood conditions in the form of reduced crime as an underlying mechanism.

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