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Out-of-School Suspensions and Parental Involvement in Children’s Education

Do parents alter their investment in their child’s human capital in response to changes in school inputs? If they do, then ignoring this effect will bias the estimates of school and parental inputs in educational production functions. This paper tries to answer this question by studying out-of-school suspensions and their effect on parental involvement in children’s education. The use of out-of-school suspensions is the novelty of this paper. Out-of-school suspensions are chosen by the teacher or the principal of the school and not by parents, but they are a consequence of student misbehavior. To account for the nature of these out-of-school suspensions, they are instrumented with measures of “principal’s preference toward discipline.” The estimates show that, without controlling for selection, the level of parental involvement is negatively correlated with the number of out-of-school suspensions. Once selection is accounted for, the effect disappears that is, out-of-school suspensions do not affect parental involvement in children’s education.

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