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Schooling and the AFQT: Evidence from School Entry Laws

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  • Cascio, Elizabeth U.

Abstract

Is the AFQT a measure of achievement or innate ability? In this paper, we test for a relationship between schooling and AFQT performance in the NLSY 79 by comparing test-takers with birthdays near state cutoff dates for school entry. We instrument for schooling at the test date with “academic cohortâ€â€”the year in which an individual should have entered first grade given her birthday and the state in which she was likely to have entered school—in a model which allows age at the test date to have a direct effect on AFQT performance. This identification strategy reveals large impacts of schooling on the AFQT performance of blacks and Hispanics, but no schooling effect for whites. Within race, schooling is generally found to have larger impacts on the more academic components of the underlying test battery. On balance, these findings provide support for the hypothesis that the AFQT measures school achievement.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz in its series Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series with number qt8zm571cw.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucscec:qt8zm571cw

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  1. Roland G. Fryer & Steven D. Levitt, 2004. "Understanding the Black-White Test Score Gap in the First Two Years of School," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 447-464, May.
  2. Hansen, Karsten T & Heckman, James J & Mullen, Kathleen J, 2003. "The effect of schooling and ability on achievement test scores," Working Paper Series, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy 2003:13, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  3. Angrist, Joshua D & Krueger, Alan B, 1991. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 979-1014, November.
  4. McKinley L. Blackburn & David Neumark, 1991. "Omitted-Ability Bias and the Increase in the Return to Schooling," NBER Working Papers, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc 3693, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Heckman, James J, 1995. "Lessons from the Bell Curve," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 1091-1120, October.
  6. Murnane, Richard J & Willett, John B & Levy, Frank, 1995. "The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 77(2), pages 251-66, May.
  7. Imbens, Guido W & Angrist, Joshua D, 1994. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 467-75, March.
  8. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2007. "The Production of Cognitive Achievement in Children: Home, School, and Racial Test Score Gaps," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 91-136.
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Cited by:
  1. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2010. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 281-355, June.
  2. Kevin Lang & Rashmi Barua, 2010. "School Entry, Educational Attainment and Quarter of Birth: A Cautionary Tale of LATE," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series, Boston University - Department of Economics WP2010-019, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  3. Daniel J. Benjamin & Sebastian A. Brown & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2006. "Who is “Behavioral”? Cognitive Ability and Anomalous Preferences," Levine's Working Paper Archive, David K. Levine 122247000000001334, David K. Levine.
  4. Dobkin, Carlos & Ferreira, Fernando, 2010. "Do school entry laws affect educational attainment and labor market outcomes?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 40-54, February.
  5. Justin McCrary & Heather Royer, 2006. "The Effect of Female Education on Fertility and Infant Health: Evidence from School Entry Policies Using Exact Date of Birth," NBER Working Papers, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc 12329, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Dan Black & Jeffrey Smith & Kermit Daniel, 2005. "College Quality and Wages in the United States," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 6(3), pages 415-443, 08.
  7. Monica Paiella & Luigi Guiso, 2004. "Risk Aversion, Wealth and Background Risk," 2004 Meeting Papers, Society for Economic Dynamics 525, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Kevin Denny & Patrick Orla Doyle, 2005. "Returns to basic skills in Central and Eastern Europe - a semi-parametric approach," Working Papers, School Of Economics, University College Dublin 200507, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  9. Fredriksson, Peter & Öckert, Björn, 2005. "Is Early Learning Really More Productive? The Effect of School Starting Age on School and Labor Market Performance," IZA Discussion Papers, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) 1659, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Elizabeth Cascio, 2005. "School Progression and the Grade Distribution of Students: Evidence from the Current Population Survey," Working Papers, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics 56, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  11. David Loughran & Ashlesha Datar & M. Kilburn, 2008. "The response of household parental investment to child endowments," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 223-242, September.
  12. Martha J. Bailey & Susan M. Dynarski, 2011. "Gains and Gaps: Changing Inequality in U.S. College Entry and Completion," NBER Working Papers, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc 17633, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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