Anti-Bullying Laws and Suicidal Behaviors Among Teenagers Articles uri icon

publication date

  • June 2022

start page

  • 787

end page

  • 823


  • 3


  • 41

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0276-8739


  • The CDC reports that the association between bullying and suicides among teenagers has generated "concern, even panic," but policies aimed at combatting bullying have received little attention from researchers. Using a difference-in-differences estimation strategy, we find that state-level anti-bullying laws (ABLs) reduce bullying victimization, depression, and suicidal ideation, with the largest estimated effects for female teenagers and teenagers who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or questioning. In addition, ABLs are associated with a 13 to 16 percent reduction in the suicide rate of female 14- through 18-year-olds. Event-study analyses and falsification tests provide evidence that these estimates can be interpreted causally.


  • Economics