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School Progression and the Grade Distribution of Students: Evidence from the Current Population Survey

  • Cascio, Elizabeth U.

    ()

    (Dartmouth College)

Education researchers have long made inferences about grade retention from the grade distribution of same-aged students. Recent economics studies have followed suit. This paper examines the validity of the "below grade" proxy for retention using data from supplemental questionnaires administered in the U.S. Current Population Survey during the 1990s. I estimate that 21% of non-repeaters are below grade, while 12% of repeaters are not. Misclassification attenuates regression coefficients by 35% when the proxy is an outcome and by 65% when it is a regressor. The latter figure is a benchmark, as classification and regression errors are arguably correlated. Biases are likely substantial in other surveys and time periods.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1747.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1747
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  1. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2004. "Remedial Education and Student Achievement: A Regression-Discontinuity Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 226-244, February.
  2. Hausman, J. A. & Abrevaya, Jason & Scott-Morton, F. M., 1998. "Misclassification of the dependent variable in a discrete-response setting," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 239-269, September.
  3. Card, David, 1996. "The Effect of Unions on the Structure of Wages: A Longitudinal Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(4), pages 957-79, July.
  4. Cascio, Elizabeth U., 2004. "Schooling and the AFQT: Evidence from School Entry Laws," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt8zm571cw, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  5. Janet Currie & Duncan Thomas, 1993. "Does Head Start Make a Difference?," NBER Working Papers 4406, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Philip Oreopoulos & Marianne E. Page & Ann Huff Stevens, 2003. "Does Human Capital Transfer from Parent to Child? The Intergenerational Effects of Compulsory Schooling," NBER Working Papers 10164, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 1990. "The Effect of Age at School Entry on Educational Attainment: An Application of Instrumental Variables with Moments from Two Samples," NBER Working Papers 3571, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. David Card & Andrew K.G. Hildreth & Lara D. Shore-Sheppard, 2004. "The Measurement of Medicaid Coverage in the SIPP: Evidence From a Comparison of Matched Records," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 22, pages 410-420, October.
  9. Dalton Conley & Rebecca Glauber, 2005. "Parental Educational Investment and Children's Academic Risk: Estimates of the Impact of Sibship Size and Birth Order from Exogenous Variations in Fertility," NBER Working Papers 11302, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Aigner, Dennis J., 1973. "Regression with a binary independent variable subject to errors of observation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 49-59, March.
  11. Jerry Hausman, 2001. "Mismeasured Variables in Econometric Analysis: Problems from the Right and Problems from the Left," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 57-67, Fall.
  12. Eide, Eric R. & Showalter, Mark H., 2001. "The effect of grade retention on educational and labor market outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 563-576, December.
  13. Janet Currie, 2001. "Early Childhood Education Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 213-238, Spring.
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