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Is Gifted Education a Bright Idea? Assessing the Impact of Gifted and Talented Programs on Achievement

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  • Sa A. Bui
  • Steven G. Craig
  • Scott A. Imberman

Abstract

In this paper we determine how the receipt of gifted and talented (GT) services affects student outcomes. We identify the causal relationship by exploiting a discontinuity in eligibility requirements and find that for students on the margin there is no discernable impact on achievement even though peers improve substantially. We then use randomized lotteries to examine the impact of attending a GT magnet program relative to GT programs in other schools and find that, despite being exposed to higher quality teachers and peers that are one standard deviation higher achieving, only science achievement improves. We argue that these results are consistent with an invidious comparison model of peer effects offsetting other benefits. Evidence of large reductions in course grades and rank relative to peers in both regression discontinuity and lottery models are consistent with this explanation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17089.

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Date of creation: May 2011
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17089

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  1. Joshua D. Angrist & Kevin Lang, 2004. "Does School Integration Generate Peer Effects? Evidence from Boston's Metco Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1613-1634, December.
  2. Alan Barreca & Melanie Guldi & Jason M. Lindo & Glen R. Waddell, 2010. "Running and Jumping Variables in RD Designs," Working Papers 1001, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
  3. Dennis Epple & Elizabeth Newlon & Richard Romano, 2000. "Ability Tracking, School Competition, and the Distribution of Educational Benefits," NBER Working Papers 7854, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Laura M. Argys & Daniel I. Rees & Dominic J. Brewer, 1996. "Detracking America's schools: Equity at zero cost?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(4), pages 623-645.
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As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Education for gifted students: all for nothing?
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2011-06-27 15:52:00
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Cited by:
  1. Adrienne M. Lucas & Isaac M. Mbiti, 2014. "Effects of School Quality on Student Achievement: Discontinuity Evidence from Kenya," Working Papers 14-03, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
  2. Glenn Ellison & Ashley Swanson, 2012. "Heterogeneity in High Math Achievement Across Schools: Evidence from the American Mathematics Competition," CESifo Working Paper Series 3903, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Sarah Cohodes & Joshua Goodman, . "Merit Aid, College Quality and College Completion: Massachusetts' Adams Scholarship as an In-Kind Subsidy," Working Paper 144201, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  4. Antecol, Heather & Eren, Ozkan & Ozbeklik, Serkan, 2013. "Peer Effects in Disadvantaged Primary Schools: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 7694, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Glenn Ellison & Ashley Swanson, 2012. "Heterogeneity in High Math Achievement Across Schools: Evidence from the American Mathematics Competitions," NBER Working Papers 18277, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Atila Abdulkadiro─člu & Joshua Angrist & Parag Pathak, 2014. "The Elite Illusion: Achievement Effects at Boston and New York Exam Schools," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82(1), pages 137-196, 01.
  7. Vardardottir, Arna, 2013. "Peer effects and academic achievement: a regression discontinuity approach," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 108-121.

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