In this paper we explore the impact of corporal punishment on young children's academic outcome. In many parts of Europe and the United States, corporal punishment is banned in schools. However, in many developing countries that is not the case. Even if corporal punishment in schools is banned in a developing country such as, India, the law may not be adequately enforced. Several arguments have been proposed against the use of corporal punishment in schools. It is argued that corporal punishment produces bad outcomes in both the short run and the long run. Instead of instilling good behavioral traits in children, corporal punishment leads to more delinquent behavior. Corporal punishment in schools does not make students more attentive or motivated. However, so far there is no comprehensive empirical study that shows how the application of corporal punishment at schools affects children. Using a dataset from India, we show that corporal punishment in schools has a significantly negative impact on children's academic performance. To tackle the problem of endogeneity, we use an instrumental variables method.
We revisit Duranton and Turner’s (2011) paper on the effect of lane kilometres of roads on vehicle-kilometres travelled (VKT) in US cities. The main conclusion of Duranton and Turner (2011) is that increasing road and highway availability would not reduce traffic congestion as VKT rises proportionately to the availability of roads. However, this result might seem counterintuitive even after accounting for the usual suspects. Common sense tells us that for all the over-worked road networks, increasing road availability should alleviate congestion at least by certain amount, however small that might be. In order to solve this apparent puzzle, we use quantile regression method on Duranton and Turner’s data. Quantile regression can help us understand how elasticity of vehicle kilometres travelled with respect to lane kilometres of roads varies for the different percentiles of the vehicle kilometres travelled. In our quantile regression estimate, using a panel of metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) in the United States for the years 1983, 1993, and 2003, we find that there is a significant variation in terms of elasticity of vehicle kilometres travelled with respect to lane kilometres of roads for different quantiles of vehicle-kilometres travelled. In the 10th percentile, the elasticity is 0.96 whereas in the 50th percentile it is 0.82, and in the 90th percentile it is 0.72. These results are obtained after controlling for geography (elevation within the MSA, ruggedness of terrain within MSA, heating degree days, cooling degree days, sprawl in 1992), demographics (share of college educated workers, average income, 1980 segregation index, share of poor, share of manufacturing employment), decennial population variables from 1920 to 1980, and census division dummies. As is evidenced by our elasticity estimate, the percentage change in vehicle-lane kilometres travelled is not uniform across different percentiles following a percentage change in available lane kilometres of roads. Hence, we may argue that for MSAs with an already lower rate of congestion, additional roads built might not bring congestion level any further down. However, for MSAs experiencing significant amount of congestion, additional roads being built might be successful in reducing the congestion level. As a result, it might be beneficial after all to build more roads and highways in regions experiencing higher level of congestion.