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The Effects of Catholic Schooling on Civic Participation

  • Thomas Dee


The promotion of adult civic engagement is one of the primary goals of public schools. And the putatively negative effects of private schooling on civic engagement provide one of the most fundamental motivations for publicly provided schooling. In this study, I examine the comparative effects of Catholic and public high schools on adult voter participation and volunteering in the United States. I find that students who attended Catholic high schools are actually more likely to vote, though not volunteer, as adults. These estimated effects are robust to conditioning on a rich set of individual, family and community traits. I also present two-stage least squares estimates, which provide suggestive evidence that these results are not due to selection biases. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

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Article provided by Springer in its journal International Tax and Public Finance.

Volume (Year): 12 (2005)
Issue (Month): 5 (September)
Pages: 605-625

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Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:12:y:2005:i:5:p:605-625
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  1. Imbens, Guido W & Angrist, Joshua D, 1994. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 467-75, March.
  2. James M. Poterba, 1994. "Government Intervention in the Markets for Education and Health Care: How and Why?," NBER Working Papers 4916, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Murnane, Richard J & Newstead, Stuart & Olsen, Randall J, 1985. "Comparing Public and Private Schools: The Puzzling Role of Selectivity Bias," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(1), pages 23-35, January.
  4. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:28:y:2002:i:7:p:a0 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. 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.
  6. William Fischel, 2002. "An Economic Case against Vouchers: Why Local Public Schools Are a Local Public Good," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 28(7), pages A0.
  7. David Figlio & Jens Ludwig, 2012. "Sex, Drugs, and Catholic Schools: Private Schooling and Non-Market Adolescent Behaviors," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 13(4), pages 385-415, November.
  8. 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.
  9. Dee, Thomas S., 2004. "Are there civic returns to education?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1697-1720, August.
  10. Levin, Henry M., 1991. "The economics of educational choice," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 137-158, June.
  11. 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.
  12. Henry M. Levin, 1998. "Educational vouchers: Effectiveness, choice, and costs," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(3), pages 373-392.
  13. 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.
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