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Ronja Helensdotter (University of Gothenburg)

8 January 2024 @ 12:00 - 13:15


  • Past event


8 January 2024
12:00 - 13:15
Event Category:
Academic Events

Surviving Childhood: Health and Crime Effects of Removing a Child From Home

Abstract. This paper studies the effects of the court-ordered removal of children from home on health and crime. To isolate causal effects, I exploit quasi-random variation in judge assignment together with across-judge variation in the tendency to favor removal in an instrumental variable (IV) design. Using a novel data set (N=26,481) based on Swedish court documents that I transcribe and link with detailed register data, I find that court-ordered out-of-home placement has large adverse effects on the mortality of the marginal child. These effects are primarily driven by suicides that occur while the removed child is still placed in out-of-home care. Removal also causes an increase in hospitalizations for mental illness and non-narcotic crimes. For birth parents, I again find an increase in non-narcotic crimes but there is little evidence of adverse health effects. I explore potential explanations for the detrimental effects on child health. Peer victimization, peer-to-peer spillovers, and adverse care home conditions appear to be important channels.