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

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  • Cascio, Elizabeth U.

    () (Dartmouth College)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Cascio, Elizabeth U., 2005. "School Progression and the Grade Distribution of Students: Evidence from the Current Population Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 1747, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1747
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    Cited by:

    1. Melissa S. Kearney & Phillip B. Levine, 2015. "Early Childhood Education by MOOC: Lessons from Sesame Street," NBER Working Papers 21229, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Borraz, Fernando & Cid, Alejandro, 2013. "Preschool attendance and school-age profiles: A revision," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 816-825.
    3. John C. Bluedorn & Elizabeth U. Cascio, 2005. "Education and Intergenerational Mobility: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Purerto Rico," Economics Papers 2005-W21, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    4. Leah K. Lakdawala & David Simon, 2016. "The Intergenerational Consequences of Tobacco Policy," Working papers 2016-27, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    5. David Deming & Susan Dynarski, 2008. "The Lengthening of Childhood," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(3), pages 71-92, Summer.
    6. Gihleb, Rania & Giuntella, Osea, 2017. "Nuns and the effects of catholic schools. Evidence from Vatican II," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 191-213.
    7. Kimbrough, Gray, 2013. "The Educational Legacy of the Greatest Generation: Paternal Military Service and Baby Boomer Educational Progress," UNCG Economics Working Papers 13-16, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics, revised 03 May 2016.
    8. Tim H. Gindling & Sara Z. Poggio, 2008. "Family Separation and Reunification as a Factor in the Educational Success of Immigrant Children," UMBC Economics Department Working Papers 09-104, UMBC Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    grade retention; misclassification; nonclassical measurement error;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access

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