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The Effect of Measured School Inputs on Academic Achievement: Evidence from the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s Birth Cohorts

  • Susanna Loeb
  • John Bound

The study presented here uses data from the NORC General Social Surveys to explore the effects of measurable school characteristics on student achievement. What separates this study from many others is the use of aggregate data on older cohorts, usually associated with research on the influence of school inputs on earnings. Earnings studies have tended to find substantial effects, while much of the research on achievement using contemporary, cross-sectional data has not. We find substantively large effects, similar in size to those found in many earnings-focused studies. In this way, our results point to the importance of aggregation and cohort effects in modeling the relationship between school inputs and student outcomes. The level of data aggregation, in particular, appears important, bringing into question causal interpretations of the results of studies using aggregate data to assess school input effects.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w5331.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5331.

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Date of creation: Nov 1995
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Publication status: published as Loeb, Susanna & Bound, John, 1996. "The Effect of Measured School Inputs on Academic Achievement: Evidence form the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s Birth Cohorts," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(4), pages 653-64, November.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5331
Note: LS
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  1. Orazem, Peter F, 1987. "Black-White Differences in Schooling Investment and Human Capital Production in Segregated Schools," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 714-23, September.
  2. Zvi Griliches, 1970. "Notes on the Role of Education in Production Functions and Growth Accounting," NBER Chapters, in: Education, Income, and Human Capital, pages 71-127 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Amemiya, Takeshi, 1978. "A Note on a Random Coefficients Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 19(3), pages 793-96, October.
  4. George E. Johnson & Frank P. Stafford, 1973. "Social Returns to Quantity and Quality of Schooling," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(2), pages 139-155.
  5. Eric A. Hanushek & Steven G. Rivkin & Lori L. Taylor, 1996. "Aggregation and the Estimated Effects of School Resources," NBER Working Papers 5548, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Charles R. Link & Edward C. Ratledge, 1975. "Social Returns to Quantity and Quality of Education: A Further Statement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 10(1), pages 78-89.
  7. Griliches, Zvi & Mason, William M, 1972. "Education, Income, and Ability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(3), pages S74-S103, Part II, .
  8. Betts, Julian R, 1995. "Does School Quality Matter? Evidence from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(2), pages 231-50, May.
  9. Victor R. Fuchs & Diane M. Reklis, 1994. "Mathematical Achievement in Eighth Grade: Interstate and Racial Differences," NBER Working Papers 4784, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Grogger, Jeff, 1996. "Does School Quality Explain the Recent Black/White Wage Trend?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(2), pages 231-53, April.
  11. John S. Akin & Irwin Garfinkel, 1977. "School Expenditures and the Economic Returns to Schooling," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 12(4), pages 460-481.
  12. Hanushek, Eric A, 1986. "The Economics of Schooling: Production and Efficiency in Public Schools," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 1141-77, September.
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