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Permanent Income and the Black-White Test Score Gap

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  • Jesse Rothstein
  • Nathan Wozny

Abstract

Analysts often examine the black-white test score gap conditional on current family income. We describe a method for identifying the gap conditional on the family’s permanent income. Current income explains only about half as much of the black-white test gap as does permanent income, and the gap among families with the same permanent income is only 0.2 to 0.3 standard deviations in two commonly used samples. When we add permanent income to the controls used by Fryer and Levitt (2006), the unexplained gap in third grade shrinks below 0.15 SDs, less than half of what is found with their controls.

Suggested Citation

  • Jesse Rothstein & Nathan Wozny, 2013. "Permanent Income and the Black-White Test Score Gap," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(3), pages 510-544.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:48:y:2013:iii:1:p:510-544
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    Cited by:

    1. Robert W. Fairlie & Florian Hoffmann & Philip Oreopoulos, 2014. "A Community College Instructor Like Me: Race and Ethnicity Interactions in the Classroom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(8), pages 2567-2591, August.
    2. Katherine Michelmore & Susan Dynarski, 2016. "The Gap within the Gap: Using Longitudinal Data to Understand Income Differences in Student Achievement," NBER Working Papers 22474, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Słoczyński, Tymon, 2012. "New Evidence on Linear Regression and Treatment Effect Heterogeneity," MPRA Paper 39524, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Bhashkar Mazumder & Jonathan Davis, 2011. "Parental Earnings and Children's Well-Being and Future Success: An Analysis of the SIPP Matched to SSA Earnings Data," Working Papers 11-12, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    5. Bradley Hardy, 2014. "Childhood Income Volatility and Adult Outcomes," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(5), pages 1641-1665, October.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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