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Does high school quality matter? Evidence from admissions data

  • Berkowitz, Daniel
  • Hoekstra, Mark

This paper examines the effect of attending elite private high school on college placement using admissions data from the most selective high school in a large metropolitan area. To overcome omitted variable bias, we limit the sample to admitted applicants and control directly for the scores assigned by admissions based on in-depth analyses of the applicants and their families. In addition, we control for a wide set of covariates including student and family characteristics and entrance exam scores. Results indicate that attending selective private high school rather than other public and private high schools causes students to attend more selective universities. Effects are driven by gains for girls and students from lower-income neighborhoods.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VB9-51726W7-1/2/e4ebc9e791a336746f2edb8361e4452a
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

Volume (Year): 30 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 280-288

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:30:y:2011:i:2:p:280-288
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

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  1. Christopher Jepsen, 2003. "The Effectiveness of Catholic Primary Schooling," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(4).
  2. Daniel Berkowitz & Mehmet Caner & Ying Fang, 2013. "The Validity of Instruments Revisited," Papers 2013-10-14, Working Paper.
  3. Sander, William & Krautmann, Anthony C, 1995. "Catholic Schools, Dropout Rates and Educational Attainment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(2), pages 217-33, April.
  4. Kraay, Aart, 2008. "Instrumental variables regressions with honestly uncertain exclusion restrictions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4632, The World Bank.
  5. Dominic J. Brewer & Eric Eide & Ronald G. Ehrenberg, 1996. "Does It Pay To Attend An Elite Private College? Cross Cohort Evidence on the Effects of College Quality on Earnings," NBER Working Papers 5613, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Mark Hoekstra, 2009. "The Effect of Attending the Flagship State University on Earnings: A Discontinuity-Based Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(4), pages 717-724, November.
  7. William Sander, 1996. "Catholic Grade Schools and Academic Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(3), pages 540-548.
  8. Stacy Berg Dale & Alan Krueger, 1998. "Estimating the Payoff to Attending a More Selective College: An Application of Selection on Observables and Unobservables," Working Papers 788, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  9. Evans, William N & Schwab, Robert M, 1995. "Finishing High School and Starting College: Do Catholic Schools Make a Difference?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 941-74, November.
  10. Dominic J. Brewer & Eric R. Eide & Ronald G. Ehrenberg, 1999. "Does It Pay to Attend an Elite Private College? Cross-Cohort Evidence on the Effects of College Type on Earnings," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(1), pages 104-123.
  11. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2002. "An Evaluation of Instrumental Variable Strategies for Estimating the Effects of Catholic Schools," NBER Working Papers 9358, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Clark Damon, 2010. "Selective Schools and Academic Achievement," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-40, February.
  13. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 151-184, February.
  14. 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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