This paper arose from work undertaken during a project initiated under the Child and Youth Officer Act and the Representative for Children and Youth Act. The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the authors. This paper is not to be understood as a report under either of these acts, and no representation is made that it expresses the views of the former Child and Youth Officer, the Representative for Children and Youth, the Ministry for Children and Family Development, the Government of British Columbia or the MSFHR. Neither does it necessarily reflect the views of the government of Ontario. The authors thank the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and the Stauffer-Dunning Chair at Queen's University for financial support, and they acknowledge helpful comments from two referees, Heather Antecol, Jane Friesen, Thomas Lemieux, Louis-Philippe Morin, Craig Riddell, Jeff Smith, and seminar participants at SFU, UBC, McMaster, Dalhousie, Victoria, and the Canadian Economics Association annual meeting. Any errors are the responsibility of the authors. No university Human Research Ethics Board approval was required or sought for this paper because the work was performed under a nominal contract to the Child and Youth Officer and the Representative for Children and Youth. The person-level data were accessed on their premises, using their computer equipment, by W. Warburton acting as a contract researcher. The other authors had access only to research results (aggregated data). The standards for maintaining the privacy and security of personal information were at the same high level as would have been required for university research. Email: Arthur.Sweetman@McMaster.ca
The Impact of Placing Adolescent Males into Foster Care on Education, Income Assistance, and Convictions
Article first published online: 27 JAN 2014
© Canadian Economics Association
Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique
Volume 47, Issue 1, pages 35–69, February/février 2014
How to Cite
Warburton, W. P., Warburton, R. N., Sweetman, A. and Hertzman, C. (2014), The Impact of Placing Adolescent Males into Foster Care on Education, Income Assistance, and Convictions. Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, 47: 35–69. doi: 10.1111/caje.12064
- Issue published online: 27 JAN 2014
- Article first published online: 27 JAN 2014
Understanding the causal impacts of taking at-risk youth into government care is part of the evidence base for policy. Two sources of exogenous variation affecting alternative subsets of the at-risk population provide causal impacts interpreted as local average treatment effects. Placing 16- to18-year-old males into care decreases or delays high school graduation, increases income assistance receipt, and has alternative effects on criminal convictions depending upon the instrument employed. This suggests that asking whether more or fewer children should be taken into care is insufficient; it also matters which, and how, children are taken into care.
L'impact du fait de placer des jeunes hommes adolescents en foyer d”accueil sur l’éducation, l'assistance pour maintenir le revenu, et les condamnations. Comprendre les impacts causés par la prise en charge par le gouvernement d”un jeune à risques est partie intégrale d'une politique fondée sur des données probantes. Deux sources de variation exogène affectant différentes portions de la population à risque engendrent des impacts qui sont interprétés comme ayant des effets sur le traitement local moyen. Placer des jeunes hommes de 16 à 18 ans en foyer d'accueil diminue ou retarde la diplomation au secondaire, accroît la dépendance de l'aide sociale, et a des effets différents sur les condamnations au criminel selon les instruments employés. Voilà qui suggère qu'il n'est pas suffisant de se demander si plus ou moins d'enfants devraient être mis en foyer d'accueil, ce qui est important est plutôt de se demander comment on prend soin des enfants.