School accountability laws and consumption of psychostimulants

Farasat Bokhari, Helen Schneider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Over the past decade, several states introduced varying degrees of accountability systems for schools, which became federal law with the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The intent of these accountability laws was to improve academic performance and to make school quality more observable. Nonetheless, schools have reacted to these pressures in several different ways, some of which were not intended. We make use of the variation across states and over time in specific provisions of these accountability laws and find that accountability pressures effect medical diagnoses and subsequent treatment options of school aged children. Specifically, children in states with more stringent accountability laws are more likely to be diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and consequently prescribed psychostimulant drugs for controlling the symptoms. However, conditional on diagnosis, accountability laws do not further change the probability of receiving medication therapy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-372
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Health Economics
Volume30
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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