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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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  • Cortes Kalena E.

    () (Texas A&M University)

  • Bricker Jesse

    () (Federal Reserve Board)

  • Rohlfs Chris

    () (Syracuse University)

Abstract

Absences in Chicago Public High Schools are 4-7 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 significantly reduces grades in that course but does not affect grades in related subjects. We also find that having math in first period reduces test scores in all subjects and reduces grades in future math classes. These effects are particularly large for black students. For classes other than math, we find little effect of having the class in first period on test scores or long-term grades.

Suggested Citation

  • Cortes Kalena E. & Bricker Jesse & Rohlfs Chris, 2012. "The Role of Specific Subjects in Education Production Functions: Evidence from Morning Classes in Chicago Public High Schools," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-36, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:12:y:2012:i:1:n:27
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dave E. Marcotte & Steven W. Hemelt, 2008. "Unscheduled School Closings and Student Performance," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 3(3), pages 316-338, July.
    2. 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.
    3. Dobkin, Carlos & Gil, Ricard & Marion, Justin, 2010. "Skipping class in college and exam performance: Evidence from a regression discontinuity classroom experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 566-575, August.
    4. 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.
    5. Dills, Angela K. & Hernández-Julián, Rey, 2008. "Course scheduling and academic performance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 646-654, December.
    6. Daniel Aaronson & Lisa Barrow & William Sander, 2007. "Teachers and Student Achievement in the Chicago Public High Schools," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 95-135.
    7. Thomas S. Dee & Sarah R. Cohodes, 2008. "Out-of-Field Teachers and Student Achievement," Public Finance Review, , vol. 36(1), pages 7-32, January.
    8. Peter Hinrichs, 2011. "When the Bell Tolls: The Effects of School Starting Times on Academic Achievement," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 6(4), pages 486-507, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Groen, Jeffrey A. & Pabilonia, Sabrina Wulff, 2017. "Snooze or Lose: High School Start Times and Academic Achievement," IZA Discussion Papers 11166, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. repec:bla:ecinqu:v:55:y:2017:i:4:p:1966-1985 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Teny Maghakian Shapiro, 2015. "The educational effects of school start times," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 181-181, August.
    4. repec:kap:iaecre:v:24:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s11294-018-9680-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Edwards, Finley, 2012. "Early to rise? The effect of daily start times on academic performance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 970-983.

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