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Heterogeneity in High Math Achievement Across Schools: Evidence from the American Mathematics Competition

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  • Glenn Ellison
  • Ashley Swanson

Abstract

This paper explores differences in the frequency with which students from different schools reach high levels of math achievement. Data from the American Mathematics Competitions is used to produce counts of high-scoring students from more than two thousand public, coeducational, non-magnet, non-charter U.S. high schools. High-achieving students are found to be very far from evenly distributed. There are strong demographic predictors of high achievement. There are also large differences among seemingly similar schools. The unobserved heterogeneity across schools includes a thick tail of schools that produce many more high-achieving students than the average school. Gender-related differences and other breakdowns are also discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Glenn Ellison & Ashley Swanson, 2012. "Heterogeneity in High Math Achievement Across Schools: Evidence from the American Mathematics Competition," CESifo Working Paper Series 3903, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3903
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    gifted education; unobserved heterogeneity; school quality; semiparametric count data models; AMC; American Mathematics Competition; mathematics education;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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