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The black-white test score gap widens with age?

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  • Michael Creel

    ()

  • Montserrat Farell Ferrer

    ()

Abstract

Abstract We re-examine the theoretical concept of a production function for cognitive achievement, and argue that an indirect production function that depends upon the variables that constrain parents' choices is both more tractable from an econometric point of view, and more interesting from an economic point of view than is a direct production function that depends upon a detailed list of direct inputs such as number of books in the household. We estimate flexible econometric models of indirect production functions for two achievement measures from the Woodcock-Johnson Revised battery, using data from two waves of the Child Development Supplement to the PSID. Elasticities of achievement measures with respect to family income and parents' educational levels are positive and significant. Gaps between scores of black and white children narrow or remain constant as children grow older, a result that differs from previous findings in the literature. The elasticities of achievement scores with respect to family income are substantially higher for children of black families, and there are some notable difference in elasticities with respect to parents' educational levels across blacks and whites.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Creel & Montserrat Farell Ferrer, 2006. "The black-white test score gap widens with age?," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 670.06, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  • Handle: RePEc:aub:autbar:670.06
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David M. Blau, 1999. "The Effect Of Income On Child Development," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 261-276, May.
    2. Hansen, Karsten T. & Heckman, James J. & Mullen, K.J.Kathleen J., 2004. "The effect of schooling and ability on achievement test scores," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 39-98.
    3. Baker, Bruce D., 2001. "Can flexible non-linear modeling tell us anything new about educational productivity?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 81-92, February.
    4. Roland G. Fryer & Steven D. Levitt, 2004. "Understanding the Black-White Test Score Gap in the First Two Years of School," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 447-464, May.
    5. Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 1995. "The Determinants of Children's Attainments: A Review of Methods and Findings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1829-1878, December.
    6. Korenman, Sanders & Miller, Jane E. & Sjaastad, John E., 1995. "Long-term poverty and child development in the United States: Results from the NLSY," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 127-155.
    7. Neal, Derek A & Johnson, William R, 1996. "The Role of Premarket Factors in Black-White Wage Differences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 869-895, October.
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    12. Michael Creel, 2004. "Modified Hausman tests for inefficient estimators," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(21), pages 2373-2376.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    education; cognitive achievement; test score gaps;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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