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Historical religious concentrations and the effects of Catholic schooling

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  • Cohen-Zada, Danny
  • Elder, Todd

Abstract

The causal effects of Catholic schooling on student outcomes have proven challenging to estimate, with several previous studies using the proportion of a geographic unit's population which is Catholic as a potentially exogenous source of variation in the availability of Catholic high schools. We propose a new approach which instead relies on the historical distribution of religious preferences. Specifically, we find that county-level Catholic shares measured at the end of the 19th century are far more strongly associated with Catholic school attendance than are current Catholic shares. Using several strategies, we show that historical Catholic shares are likely to be exogenous to student outcomes conditional on the current distribution of religion. Estimates based on this identification strategy point to smaller Catholic schooling effects than those implied by OLS, in contrast to instrumental variables estimates from previous studies.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 66 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
Pages: 65-74

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Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:66:y:2009:i:1:p:65-74

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622905

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Keywords: Catholic schools Treatment effect;

References

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  1. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 151-184, February.
  2. Neal, Derek, 1997. "The Effects of Catholic Secondary Schooling on Educational Achievement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 98-123, January.
  3. Koedel, Cory, 2008. "Teacher quality and dropout outcomes in a large, urban school district," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 560-572, November.
  4. Sander, William & Krautmann, Anthony C, 1995. "Catholic Schools, Dropout Rates and Educational Attainment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(2), pages 217-33, April.
  5. David Figlio & Jens Ludwig, 2012. "Sex, Drugs, and Catholic Schools: Private Schooling and Non-Market Adolescent Behaviors," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 13(4), pages 385-415, November.
  6. Francis Vella, 1999. "Do Catholic Schools Make a Difference? Evidence from Australia," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(1), pages 208-224.
  7. Cohen-Zada, D., 2009. "An alternative instrument for private school competition," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 29-37, February.
  8. Thomas Dee, 2005. "The Effects of Catholic Schooling on Civic Participation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 12(5), pages 605-625, September.
  9. William Sander, 1996. "Catholic Grade Schools and Academic Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(3), pages 540-548.
  10. Jepsen, Christopher & Montgomery, Mark, 2009. "Miles to go before I learn: The effect of travel distance on the mature person's choice of a community college," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 64-73, January.
  11. Evans, William N & Schwab, Robert M, 1995. "Finishing High School and Starting College: Do Catholic Schools Make a Difference?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 941-74, November.
  12. Christopher Jepsen, 2003. "The Effectiveness of Catholic Primary Schooling," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(4).
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Cited by:
  1. Green, Colin P. & Navarro-Paniagua, María & Ximénez-de-Embún, Domingo P. & Mancebón, María-Jesús, 2014. "School choice and student wellbeing," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 139-150.
  2. Elder, Todd & Jepsen, Christopher, 2014. "Are Catholic primary schools more effective than public primary schools?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 28-38.
  3. Kim, Young-Joo, 2011. "Catholic schools or school quality? The effects of Catholic schools on labor market outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 546-558, June.
  4. Paula Herrera & Enrique López-Bazo & Elisabet Motellón, 2013. "“Informality and Overeducation in the Labor Market of a Developing Country”," IREA Working Papers 201305, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Apr 2013.
  5. Cardak, Buly A. & Vecci, Joe, 2013. "Catholic school effectiveness in Australia: A reassessment using selection on observed and unobserved variables," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 34-45.

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