Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics
University of New Hampshire
10 Garrison Ave.
Durham, NH 03824
Institutional Affiliation: University of New Hampshire
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|February 2020||Anti-Bullying Laws and Suicidal Behaviors among Teenagers|
with Daniel I. Rees, Joseph J. Sabia: w26777
The CDC reports that the association between bullying and suicides among teenagers has generated “concern, even panic,” but polices aimed at combatting bullying have received little attention from researchers. Using a difference-in-differences estimation strategy, we find that state-level anti-bullying laws (ABLs) reduce bullying victimization, depression and suicidal ideation, with the largest estimated effects for female teenagers and teenagers who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or questioning. In addition, ABLs are associated with a 13-16 percent reduction in the suicide rate of female 14- through 18-year-olds. Event-study analyses and falsification tests provide evidence that these estimates can be interpreted causally.