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School Progression and the Grade Distribution of Students: Evidence from the Current Population Survey

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  • Elizabeth Cascio

    (Department of Economics, University of California Davis)

Abstract

Education researchers have long made inferences about grade retention from the grade distribution of same-aged students. Recent economics studies have followed suit. This paper examines the validity of the "below grade" proxy for retention using data from supplemental questionnaires administered in the U.S. Current Population Survey during the 1990s. I estimate that 21% of non-repeaters are below grade, while 12% of repeaters are not. Misclassification attenuates regression coefficients by 35% when the proxy is an outcome and by 65% when it is a regressor. The latter figure is a benchmark, as classification and regression errors are arguably correlated. Biases are likely substantial in other surveys and time periods.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of California, Davis, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 56.

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Date of creation: 19 Sep 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cda:wpaper:05-6

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  1. Cascio, Elizabeth U., 2004. "Schooling and the AFQT: Evidence from School Entry Laws," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt8zm571cw, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  2. Currie, Janet & Thomas, Duncan, 1995. "Does Head Start Make a Difference?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 341-64, June.
  3. Jerry Hausman, 2001. "Mismeasured Variables in Econometric Analysis: Problems from the Right and Problems from the Left," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 57-67, Fall.
  4. Janet Currie, 2001. "Early Childhood Education Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 213-238, Spring.
  5. Joshua Angrist & Alan Krueger, 1990. "The Effect of Age at School Entry on Educational Attainment: An Application of Instrumental Variables with Moments from Two Samples," Working Papers 654, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  6. Aigner, Dennis J., 1973. "Regression with a binary independent variable subject to errors of observation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 49-59, March.
  7. Eide, Eric R. & Showalter, Mark H., 2001. "The effect of grade retention on educational and labor market outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 563-576, December.
  8. Philip Oreopoulos & Marianne E. Page & Ann Huff Stevens, 2003. "Does Human Capital Transfer from Parent to Child? The Intergenerational Effects of Compulsory Schooling," NBER Working Papers 10164, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Hausman, J. A. & Abrevaya, Jason & Scott-Morton, F. M., 1998. "Misclassification of the dependent variable in a discrete-response setting," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 239-269, September.
  10. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2004. "Remedial Education and Student Achievement: A Regression-Discontinuity Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 226-244, February.
  11. David Card & Andrew K.G. Hildreth & Lara D. Shore-Sheppard, 2004. "The Measurement of Medicaid Coverage in the SIPP: Evidence From a Comparison of Matched Records," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 22, pages 410-420, October.
  12. Dalton Conley & Rebecca Glauber, 2005. "Parental Educational Investment and Children's Academic Risk: Estimates of the Impact of Sibship Size and Birth Order from Exogenous Variations in Fertility," NBER Working Papers 11302, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Card, David, 1996. "The Effect of Unions on the Structure of Wages: A Longitudinal Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(4), pages 957-79, July.
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Cited by:
  1. David Deming & Susan Dynarski, 2008. "The Lengthening of Childhood," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(3), pages 71-92, Summer.
  2. Borraz, Fernando & Cid, Alejandro, 2013. "Preschool attendance and school-age profiles: A revision," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 816-825.

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