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A finite-sample hierarchical analysis of wage variation across public high schools: evidence from the NLSY and high school and beyond

  • Justin L. Tobias

    (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine, 3151 Social Science Plaza, Irvine, CA 92697-5100, USA)

  • Mingliang Li

    (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine, 3151 Social Science Plaza, Irvine, CA 92697-5100, USA)

Registered author(s):

    Using data from both the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) and High School and Beyond (HSB), we investigate if public high schools differ in the “production” of earnings and if rates of return to future education vary with public high school attended. Given evidence of such variation, we seek to explain why schools differ by proposing that standard measures of school “quality” as well as proxies for community characteristics can explain the observed parameter variation across high schools. Since analysis of widely-used data sets such as the NLSY and HSB necessarily involves observing only a few students per high school, we employ an exact finite sample estimation approach. We find evidence that schools differ and that most proxies for high school quality play modest roles in explaining the variation in outcomes across public high schools. We do find evidence that the education of the teachers in the high school as well as the average family income associated with students in the school play a small part in explaining variation at the school-level. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/jae.696
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    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Applied Econometrics.

    Volume (Year): 18 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 315-336

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    Handle: RePEc:jae:japmet:v:18:y:2003:i:3:p:315-336
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    1. Grogger, Jeff, 1996. "School Expenditures and Post-schooling Earnings: Evidence from High School and Beyond," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(4), pages 628-37, November.
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    10. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1992. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 1-40, February.
    11. Heckman, James & Layne-Farrar, Anne & Todd, Petra, 1996. "Human Capital Pricing Equations with an Application to Estimating the Effect of Schooling Quality on Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(4), pages 562-610, November.
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