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The role of specific subjects in education production functions: evidence from morning classes in Chicago public high schools

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  • Jesse Bricker
  • Kalena Cortes
  • Chris Rohlfs
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    Abstract

    Absences in Chicago Public High Schools are 3-7 days per year higher in first period than at other times of the day. This study exploits this empirical regularity and the essentially random variation between students in the ordering of classes over the day to measure how the returns to classroom learning vary by course subject, and how much attendance in one class spills over into learning in other subjects. We find that having a class in first period reduces grades in that course and has little effect on long-term grades or grades in related subjects. We also find moderately-sized negative effects of having a class in first period on test scores in that subject and in related subjects, particularly for math classes.

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    File URL: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/feds/2010/201033/201033abs.html
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    File URL: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/feds/2010/201033/201033pap.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2010-33.

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    Date of creation: 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2010-33

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    Related research

    Keywords: Education - Economic aspects;

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

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    1. Hansen, Karsten T & Heckman, James J & Mullen, Kathleen J, 2003. "The effect of schooling and ability on achievement test scores," Working Paper Series 2003:13, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    2. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2003. "Are Idle Hands the Devil's Workshop? Incapacitation, Concentration and Juvenile Crime," NBER Working Papers 9653, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Brian Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2007. "The Effect of Grade Retention on High School Completion," NBER Working Papers 13514, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
    5. Julie Berry Cullen & Brian Jacob & Steven Levitt, 2000. "The Impact of School Choice on Student Outcomes: An Analysis of the Chicago Public Schools," NBER Working Papers 7888, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Jacobson, Louis & LaLonde, Robert & G. Sullivan, Daniel, 2005. "Estimating the returns to community college schooling for displaced workers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 271-304.
    7. 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.
    8. Dills, Angela K. & Hernández-Julián, Rey, 2008. "Course scheduling and academic performance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 646-654, December.
    9. Daniel Aaronson & Lisa Barrow & William Sander, 2002. "Teachers and student achievement in the Chicago public high schools," Working Paper Series WP-02-28, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
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