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The Causal Effect of Studying on Academic Performance

  • Todd R. Stinebrickner
  • Ralph Stinebrickner

Despite the large amount of attention that has been paid recently to understanding the determinants of educational outcomes, knowledge of the causal effect of the most fundamental input in the education production function - students' study time and effort - has remained virtually non-existent. In this paper, we examine the causal effect of studying on grade performance using an Instrumental Variable estimator. Our approach takes advantage of a unique natural experiment and is possible because we have collected unique longitudinal data that provides detailed information about all aspects of this experiment. Important for understanding the potential impact of a wide array of education policies, the results suggest that human capital accumulation is far from predetermined at the time of college entrance.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13341.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13341.

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Date of creation: Aug 2007
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Publication status: published as Stinebrickner Ralph & Stinebrickner Todd R., 2008. "The Causal Effect of Studying on Academic Performance," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-55, June.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13341
Note: ED
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. Todd Stinebrickner & Ralph Stinebrickner, 2001. "Time Use and College Outcomes," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20012, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  2. Heckman, James J & Lochner, Lance & Taber, Christopher, 1998. "Tax Policy and Human-Capital Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 293-97, May.
  3. Todd Stinebrickner & Ralph Stinebrickner, 2001. "Working During School and Academic Performance," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20011, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  4. Todd R. Stinebrickner & Ralph Stinebrickner, 2005. "What Can Be Learned About Peer Effects Using College Roommates? Evidence From New Survey Data and Students from Disadvantaged Backgrounds," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20054, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  5. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Daniel R. Sherman, 1987. "Employment While in College, Academic Achievement, and Postcollege Outcomes: A Summary of Results," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 22(1), pages 1-23.
  6. Dan A. Black & Jeffrey Smith, 2003. "How Robust is the Evidence on the Effects of College Quality? Evidence From Matching," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20033, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  7. Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "Peer Effects With Random Assignment: Results For Dartmouth Roommates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 681-704, May.
  8. Ruhm, Christopher J, 1997. "Is High School Employment Consumption or Investment?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(4), pages 735-76, October.
  9. Gerald S. Oettinger, 1999. "Does high school employment affect high school academic performance?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(1), pages 136-151, October.
  10. Steven G. Rivkin & Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain, 2005. "Teachers, Schools, and Academic Achievement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 417-458, 03.
  11. Ralph Stinebrickner & Todd Stinebrickner, 2008. "The Effect of Credit Constraints on the College Drop-Out Decision: A Direct Approach Using a New Panel Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 2163-84, December.
  12. Dan A. Black & Jeffrey A. Smith, 2006. "Estimating the Returns to College Quality with Multiple Proxies for Quality," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 701-728, July.
  13. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
  14. Becker, William E, Jr, 1982. "The Educational Process and Student Achievement Given Uncertainty in Measurement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 229-36, March.
  15. Julie Berry Cullen & Brian A. Jacob & Steven Levitt, 2003. "The Effect of School Choice on Student Outcomes: Evidence from Randomized Lotteries," NBER Working Papers 10113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2000. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," NBER Working Papers 7831, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Kinal, Terrence W, 1980. "The Existence of Moments of k-Class Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 241-49, January.
  18. Joseph G. Altonji & Ching-I Huang & Christopher R. Taber, 2010. "Estimating the Cream Skimming Effect of School Choice," NBER Working Papers 16579, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Michael Kremer & Dan M. Levy, 2003. "Peer Effects and Alcohol Use Among College Students," NBER Working Papers 9876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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