: The objective of this paper is to examine the impact of Hurricane Katrina on displaced students’ behavioral disorder. Methods
: First, we determine displaced students’ likelihood of discipline infraction each year relative to non-evacuees using all K12 student records of the U.S. state of Louisiana during the period of 2000–2008. Second, we investigate the impact of hurricane on evacuee students’ in-school behavior in a difference-in-difference framework. The quasi-experimental nature of the hurricane makes this framework appropriate with the advantage that the problem of endogeneity is of least concern and the causal effect of interest can be reasonably identified. Results
: Preliminary analysis demonstrates a sharp increase in displaced students’ relative likelihood of discipline infraction around 2005 when the hurricane occurred. Further, formal difference-in-difference analysis confirms the results. To be specific, post Katrina, displaced students’ relative likelihood of any discipline infraction has increased by 7.3% whereas the increase in the relative likelihood for status offense, offense against person, offense against property and serious crime is 4%, 1.5%, 3.8% and 2.1%, respectively. Conclusion
When disasters occur, as was the case with Hurricane Katrina, in addition to assistance for adult evacuees, governments, in cooperation with schools, should also provide aid and assistance to displaced children to support their mental health and in-school behavior.
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