How can we help disadvantaged youth avoid negative outcomes such as delinquency and dropout? A recent NBER working paper presents findings from three randomized control trials that help low-income young people slow down and consider whether their quick, automatic responses are useful for a given situation. The paper is co-authored by Sara Heller, Anuj Shah, Jonathan Guryan, Jens Ludwig, Sendhil Mullainathan and Harold Pollack.
All three studies show sizable positive effects. The first, which tests a program carried out within the Chicago Public Schools called Becoming a Man (BAM), shows that participation reduced violent-crime arrests by 44% and improved schooling outcomes. The second, also of BAM, reduced overall arrests by 31%. And the third, carried out in the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, saw reductions in return rates to the center by 22%.
To learn more, we’re joined by Jens Ludwig (@profjensludwig). He is a professor at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago and the Director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab.