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Dressed for Success? The Effect of School Uniforms on Student Achievement and Behavior

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  • Elisabetta Gentile
  • Scott A. Imberman

Abstract

Uniform use in public schools is rising, but we know little about how they affect students. Using a unique dataset from a large urban school district in the southwest United States, we assess how uniforms affect behavior, achievement and other outcomes. Each school in the district determines adoption independently, providing variation over schools and time. By including student and school fixed-effects we find evidence that uniform adoption improves attendance in secondary grades, while in elementary schools they generate large increases in teacher retention.

Suggested Citation

  • Elisabetta Gentile & Scott A. Imberman, 2011. "Dressed for Success? The Effect of School Uniforms on Student Achievement and Behavior," NBER Working Papers 17337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17337
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Steven G. Rivkin & Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain, 2005. "Teachers, Schools, and Academic Achievement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 417-458, March.
    2. Don Boyd & Hamp Lankford & Susanna Loeb & Matthew Ronfeldt & Jim Wyckoff, 2011. "The role of teacher quality in retention and hiring: Using applications to transfer to uncover preferences of teachers and schools," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(1), pages 88-110, December.
    3. Brian A. Jacob, 2002. "Where the boys aren't: Non-cognitive skills, returns to school and the gender gap in higher education," NBER Working Papers 8964, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    5. Scott A. Imberman, 2011. "Achievement and Behavior in Charter Schools: Drawing a More Complete Picture," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 416-435, May.
    6. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
    7. Carmit Segal, 2008. "Classroom Behavior," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
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    10. David N. Figlio, 2007. "Boys Named Sue: Disruptive Children and Their Peers," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 2(4), pages 376-394, September.
    11. Li Feng, 2010. "Hire Today, Gone Tomorrow: New Teacher Classroom Assignments and Teacher Mobility," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 5(3), pages 278-316, July.
    12. Yona Rubinstein & James J. Heckman, 2001. "The Importance of Noncognitive Skills: Lessons from the GED Testing Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 145-149, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Johanna Lacoe, 2013. "How Feelings of Safety at School Affect Educational Outcomes," Working Paper 9314, USC Lusk Center for Real Estate.
    2. Leonardo Becchetti & Fabio Pisani, 2014. "Family Economic Well-Being, and (Class) Relative Wealth: An Empirical Analysis of Life Satisfaction of Secondary School Students in Three Italian Cities," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 503-525, June.
    3. Chakrabarti, Rajashri & Roy, Joydeep, 2016. "Do charter schools crowd out private school enrollment? Evidence from Michigan," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 88-103.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

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

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