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Schooling and the AFQT: Evidence from School Entry Laws

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  • Cascio, Elizabeth U.

    ()
    (Dartmouth College)

  • Lewis, Ethan Gatewood

    ()
    (Dartmouth College)

Abstract

Is the Armed Forces Qualifying Test (AFQT) a measure of achievement or ability? The answer to this question is critical for drawing inferences from studies in which it is employed. 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 cohort – the year in which an individual should have entered first grade – in a model that 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 racial minorities, providing support for the hypothesis that the AFQT measures school achievement.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1481.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1481

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Keywords: education; ability; achievement; AFQT; school entry;

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References

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  1. Hansen, Karsten T. & Heckman, James J. & Mullen, Kathleen, 2003. "The Effect of Schooling and Ability on Achievement Test Scores," IZA Discussion Papers 826, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. 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, vol. 77(2), pages 251-66, May.
  3. McKinley L. Blackburn & David Neumark, 1991. "Omitted-Ability Bias and the Increase in the Return to Schooling," NBER Working Papers 3693, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 1990. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," NBER Working Papers 3572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Joshua D. Angrist & Guido W. Imbens, 1995. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," NBER Technical Working Papers, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc 0118, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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, vol. 86(2), pages 447-464, May.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  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. Luigi Guiso & Monica Paiella, 2007. "Risk Aversion, Wealth, and Background Risk," Economics Working Papers, European University Institute ECO2007/47, European University Institute.
  4. 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.
  5. Justin McCrary & Heather Royer, 2011. "The Effect of Female Education on Fertility and Infant Health: Evidence from School Entry Policies Using Exact Date of Birth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 158-95, February.
  6. Fredriksson, Peter & Öckert, Björn, 2006. "Is early learning really more productive? The effect of school starting age on school and labor market performance," Working Paper Series, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy 2006:12, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  7. 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.
  8. Martha J. Bailey & Susan M. Dynarski, 2011. "Gains and Gaps: Changing Inequality in U.S. College Entry and Completion," NBER Working Papers 17633, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. Daniel J. Benjamin & Sebastian A. Brown & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2006. "Who is “Behavioral”? Cognitive Ability and Anomalous Preferences," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000001334, David K. Levine.
  11. Carlos Dobkin & Fernando Ferreira, 2009. "Do School Entry Laws Affect Educational Attainment and Labor Market Outcomes?," NBER Working Papers 14945, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.

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