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Bounding the Impact of a Gifted Program on Student Retention Using a Modified Regression Discontinuity Design


  • Billie Davis
  • John Engberg
  • Dennis Epple
  • Holger Sieg
  • Ron Zimmer


This paper examines whether gifted programs can help urban districts retain students. Gifted programs often IQ thresholds for admission, which creates strong incentives to manipulate the IQ score of students to increase access to the program. In the presence of local manipulation, the standard regression discontinuity estimator does not identify the local average treatment effect. However, we can construct a lower bound for the effectiveness of the progream by exploiting a weak monotonicity assumption regarding the mean outcome in the untreated state. Our point estimates suggest that the gifted program has a strong positive effect on retention for higher income students.

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  • Billie Davis & John Engberg & Dennis Epple & Holger Sieg & Ron Zimmer, 2013. "Bounding the Impact of a Gifted Program on Student Retention Using a Modified Regression Discontinuity Design," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 111-112, pages 10-34.
  • Handle: RePEc:adr:anecst:y:2013:i:111-112:p:10-34

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    Cited by:

    1. Fran├žois Gerard & Miikka Rokkanen & Christoph Rothe, 2020. "Bounds on treatment effects in regression discontinuity designs with a manipulated running variable," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 11(3), pages 839-870, July.
    2. Takuya Ishihara & Masayuki Sawada, 2020. "Manipulation-Robust Regression Discontinuity Design," Papers 2009.07551,
    3. David M. Welsch & David M. Zimmer, 2018. "Do High School Gifted Programs Lead to Later-in-Life Success?," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 201-218, June.

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