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An Evaluation of Instrumental Variable Strategies for Estimating the Effects of Catholic Schools

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  • Joseph G. Altonji
  • Todd E. Elder
  • Christopher R. Taber

Abstract

Several previous studies have relied on religious affiliation and the proximity to Catholic schools as exogenous sources of variation for identifying the effect of Catholic schooling on a wide variety of outcomes. Using three separate approaches, we examine the validity of these instrumental variables. We find that none of the candidate instruments is a useful source of identification of the Catholic school effect, at least in currently available data sets

Suggested Citation

  • Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2002. "An Evaluation of Instrumental Variable Strategies for Estimating the Effects of Catholic Schools," NBER Working Papers 9358, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9358
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stephen V. Cameron & James J. Heckman, 1998. "Life Cycle Schooling and Dynamic Selection Bias: Models and Evidence for Five Cohorts of American Males," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(2), pages 262-333, April.
    2. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 151-184, February.
    3. Taber, Christopher R., 2000. "Semiparametric identification and heterogeneity in discrete choice dynamic programming models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 201-229, June.
    4. David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 1994. "The Economic Return to School Quality: A Partial Survey," Working Papers 713, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    5. Joseph G. Altonji & Rosa L. Matzkin, 2001. "Panel Data Estimators for Nonseparable Models with Endogenous Regressors," NBER Technical Working Papers 0267, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Udry, Christopher, 1996. "Gender, Agricultural Production, and the Theory of the Household," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 1010-1046, October.
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    8. Currie, Janet & Thomas, Duncan, 1995. "Does Head Start Make a Difference?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 341-364, June.
    9. Derek Neal, 1994. "The Effect of Catholic Secondary Schooling on Educational Attainment," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 95, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
    10. William N. Evans & Robert M. Schwab, 1995. "Finishing High School and Starting College: Do Catholic Schools Make a Difference?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 941-974.
    11. Christopher Jepsen, 2003. "The Effectiveness of Catholic Primary Schooling," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(4).
    12. Heckman, James J, 1990. "Varieties of Selection Bias," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 313-318, May.
    13. Caroline Minter Hoxby, 1994. "Do Private Schools Provide Competition for Public Schools?," NBER Working Papers 4978, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. repec:eme:rlepps:v:18:y:1999:i:1999:p:115-140 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Bronars, Stephen G & Grogger, Jeff, 1994. "The Economic Consequences of Unwed Motherhood: Using Twin Births as a Natural Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1141-1156, December.
    16. Witte, John F., 1992. "Private school versus public school achievement: Are there findings that should affect the educational choice debate?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 371-394, December.
    17. Richard J. Murnane, 1984. "A Review Essay-Comparisons of Public and Private Schools: Lessons from the Uproar," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 19(2), pages 263-277.
    18. Joshua D. Angrist, 1991. "Instrumental Variables Estimation of Average Treatment Effects in Econometrics and Epidemiology," NBER Technical Working Papers 0115, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1994. "The Economic Return to School Quality: A Partial Survey," Working Papers 713, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • C2 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables

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