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The NELS Curve: Replicating The Bell Curve

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  • Levine, David I.
  • Painter, Gary

Abstract

This study uses the National Educational Longitudinal Survey of 1988 (NELS) to replicate both the analysis in The Bell Curve and that of several of its previous replications. We examine the relative importance of test scores and family background in predicting dropping out of high school, starting college, arrests, and out-of-wedlock fertility. Our results relax several arbitrary assumptions made in The Bell Curve. We strongly reject The Bell Curve's conclusion that family backgrou nd is almost always less important than test scores in predicting outcomes. In addition, our analysis casts doubt on some of The Bell Curve's claims concerning reverse discrimination in education

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley in its series Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series with number qt50520524.

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Date of creation: 04 Feb 1998
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:indrel:qt50520524

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  1. Grogger, Jeff, 1998. "Market Wages and Youth Crime," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(4), pages 756-91, October.
  2. David Neumark, 1988. "Employers' Discriminatory Behavior and the Estimation of Wage Discrimination," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(3), pages 279-295.
  3. Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Ransom, Michael R., 1994. "On discrimination and the decomposition of wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 5-21, March.
  4. Patrick Mason, 1997. "Race, culture, and skill: Interracial wage differences among African Americans, Latinos, and whites," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 5-39, March.
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