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The black-white test score gap widens with age?

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  • Michael Creel

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  • Montserrat Farell Ferrer

    ()

Abstract

Abstract We re-examine the theoretical concept of a production function for cognitive achievement, and argue that an indirect production function that depends upon the variables that constrain parents' choices is both more tractable from an econometric point of view, and more interesting from an economic point of view than is a direct production function that depends upon a detailed list of direct inputs such as number of books in the household. We estimate flexible econometric models of indirect production functions for two achievement measures from the Woodcock-Johnson Revised battery, using data from two waves of the Child Development Supplement to the PSID. Elasticities of achievement measures with respect to family income and parents' educational levels are positive and significant. Gaps between scores of black and white children narrow or remain constant as children grow older, a result that differs from previous findings in the literature. The elasticities of achievement scores with respect to family income are substantially higher for children of black families, and there are some notable difference in elasticities with respect to parents' educational levels across blacks and whites.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC) in its series UFAE and IAE Working Papers with number 670.06.

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Length: 31
Date of creation: 04 Oct 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aub:autbar:670.06

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Keywords: education; cognitive achievement; test score gaps;

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  1. Leibowitz, Arleen, 1974. "Education and Home Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 243-50, May.
  2. Hansen, Karsten T. & Heckman, James J. & Mullen, K.J.Kathleen J., 2004. "The effect of schooling and ability on achievement test scores," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 39-98.
  3. Korenman, Sanders & Miller, Jane E. & Sjaastad, John E., 1995. "Long-term poverty and child development in the United States: Results from the NLSY," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 127-155.
  4. Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J. & Masterov, Dimitriy V., 2005. "Labor Market Discrimination and Racial Differences in Premarket Factors," IZA Discussion Papers 1453, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. David M. Blau, 1999. "The Effect Of Income On Child Development," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 261-276, May.
  6. Michael Creel, 2004. "Modified Hausman tests for inefficient estimators," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(21), pages 2373-2376.
  7. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  8. Baker, Bruce D., 2001. "Can flexible non-linear modeling tell us anything new about educational productivity?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 81-92, February.
  9. Caves, Douglas W & Christensen, Laurits R, 1980. "Global Properties of Flexible Functional Forms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 422-32, June.
  10. Roland G. Fryer, Jr. & Steven D. Levitt, 2002. "Understanding the Black-White Test Score Gap in the First Two Years of School," NBER Working Papers 8975, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Derek A. Neal & William R. Johnson, 1995. "The Role of Pre-Market Factors in Black-White Wage Differences," NBER Working Papers 5124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 1995. "The Determinants of Children's Attainments: A Review of Methods and Findings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1829-1878, December.
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