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An alternative instrument for private school competition

  • Cohen-Zada, D.
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    Empirical studies estimating the effect of private school competition on student outcomes commonly use the share of Catholics in the local population as an instrument for private school competition. I show that this is not a valid instrument since it is endogenous to private school competition and suggest using instead the local share of Catholics in the population in 1890 and its squared term. These instruments are very strong and are also exogenous to both student achievements and private school competition. I further show that using the current Catholic share as an instrument results in seriously flawed estimates of the effect of private school competition on math test scores and on educational attainment, to the extent that significant positive effects of private school competition on these outcome measures do not hold when the historical Catholic share in 1890 is used as an alternative instrument. The historical Catholic share in 1890 can also be applied to estimate the treatment effect of Catholic schools.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

    Volume (Year): 28 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 1 (February)
    Pages: 29-37

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:28:y:2009:i:1:p:29-37
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    1. James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    7. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2000. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," NBER Working Papers 7831, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Cragg, John G. & Donald, Stephen G., 1993. "Testing Identifiability and Specification in Instrumental Variable Models," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(02), pages 222-240, April.
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    13. William N. Evans & Robert M. Schwab, 1995. "Finishing High School and Starting College: Do Catholic Schools Make a Difference?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 941-974.
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    16. William Sander, 1996. "Catholic Grade Schools and Academic Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(3), pages 540-548.
    17. Thomas Dee, 2005. "The Effects of Catholic Schooling on Civic Participation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 12(5), pages 605-625, September.
    18. Neal, Derek, 1997. "The Effects of Catholic Secondary Schooling on Educational Achievement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 98-123, January.
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