Now showing 1 - 10 of 24
  • Publication
    Class Size: Does It Matter for Student Achievement?
    (Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), 2015)
    Reducing class size is a popular education policy measure with parents, teachers, and policymakers. However, research shows that reducing class size leads to, in most cases, only modest improvements in student achievement. Also, students in early grades appear to gain more from smaller classes than older students. Despite extensive research on class size, much about this relationship is still unknown. Policymakers should be aware that reducing class sizes can be costly, is no guarantee of improved achievement, and is only one of many possible reforms.
  • Publication
    The sexual division of labor within households revisited : comparisons of couples and roommates
    (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006) ;
    Becker’s theories of labor-market specialization predict that couples will allocate the time of the man mainly to the labor market and the time of the woman mainly to the home market. Previous studies fail to find evidence to support this allocation of labor. We compare cohabiting couples to roommates to study the extent to which couples specialize. Roommates make an interesting comparison group. Like couples, they live together. Unlike couples, they have no incentives to specialize with respect to labor-market traits. We include same-sex couples in our study because by definition, they are unable to specialize by gender. Couples, however, have incentives to pool household resources and to specialize. We find evidence consistent with the hypothesis that, with respect to earnings, couples specialize and roommates do not. With respect to hours worked, however, same-sex couples are indistinguishable from male and female roommates.
  • Publication
    Estimating the social value of higher education: willingness to pay for community and technical colleges
    (Cambridge University Press, 2014-01) ; ; ;
    Much is known about private financial returns to education in the form of higher earnings. Less is known about how much social value exceeds this private value. Associations between education and socially-desirable outcomes are strong, but disentangling the effect of education from other causal factors is challenging. The purpose of this paper is to estimate the social value of one form of higher education. We elicit willingness to pay for the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) directly and compare our estimate of total social value to our estimates of private value in the form of increased earnings. Our earnings estimates are based on two distinct data sets, one administrative and one from the U.S. Census. The difference between the total social value and the increase in earnings is our measure of the education externality and the private, non-market value combined. Our work differs from previous research by focusing on education at the community college level and by eliciting values directly through a stated-preferences survey in a way that yields a total value including any external benefits. Our preferred estimates indicate the social value of expanding the system exceeds private financial value by at least 25% with a best point estimate of nearly 90% and exceeds total private value by at least 15% with a best point estimate of nearly 60%.
  • Publication
    Self-Employment, Earnings, and Sexual Orientation
    Although many studies document differences by sexual orientation in earnings and other labor-market outcomes, little is known about differences in self-employment. Our study contributes to both the self-employment literature and sexual-orientation literature by analyzing differences in self-employment rates and earnings by sexual orientation. Gay men are less likely to be self-employed than married men, whereas lesbians are equally likely to be self-employed as married women. We find that gay men earn less than married men. We do find, however, that for those gay men who are self-employed, there is little evidence of a further earnings penalty, at least among full-time workers. Lesbians earn at least as much as married women, but receive no further earnings premium—or penalty—by being self-employed, again among full-time workers.
      629Scopus© Citations 11
  • Publication
    Does home ownership vary by sexual orientation?
    The housing literature considers whether the probability of owning a home is different for ethnic and racial minorities than for native whites. Most studies find that minorities are less likely to own a home than their white counterparts. A logical extension of this line of research is to consider whether home-ownership rates differ based on sexual orientation. We use data on couples from the 2000 Census and find that same-sex couples are less likely to own a home than are married couples. The average value of houses owned by same-sex male couples is statistically similar to the average value of houses owned by married couples, but houses owned by same-sex female and cohabiting couples have lower average values than those owned by married couples. Conditional on owning, same-sex couples are slightly less likely to have a mortgage compared to married couples.
      607Scopus© Citations 18
  • Publication
    The Effect of Sharing a Mother Tongue with Peers: Evidence from North Carolina Middle Schools
    This paper provides the first analysis of the relationship between the language mix of Limited English Proficient (LEP) peers and student achievement, using detailed panel data from 2006 to 2012. Percent LEP has a negative association with mathematics and reading test scores, more so for non-LEP students than for LEP students. The overall language mix of LEP students has little if any discernable relationship with achievement. For LEP students, having more LEP peers speak their mother tongue is positively associated with reading achievement and negatively associated with mathematics achievement.
      423Scopus© Citations 6
  • Publication
    Second Chance for High-School Dropouts? A Regression Discontinuity Analysis of Postsecondary Educational Returns to General Educational Development Certification
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2015-04) ; ;
    In this paper, we evaluate the educational returns to General Educational Development (GED) certification using state administrative data. We use fuzzy regression discontinuity (FRD) methods to account for the fact that GED test takers can repeatedly retake the test until they pass it and the fact that test takers have to pass each of five subtests before receiving the GED. We generally find positive effects of the GED on multiple measures of postsecondary education. Although the GED increases the likelihood of postsecondary attendance substantially, the GED impact on overall credits completed is much more modest: The GED causes an average increment of only two credits for men and six credits for women. The effects of the GED on postsecondary awards are inconclusive, likely related to the small percentage of awards received by GED test takers.
  • Publication
    The Labor-Market Returns to Community College Degrees, Diplomas, and Certificates
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2012-09) ; ;
    This paper provides among the first rigorous estimates of the labor-market returns to community college certificates and diplomas, as well as estimating the returns to the more commonly-studied associate’s degrees. Using administrative data from Kentucky, we estimate panel-data models that control for differences among students in pre-college earnings and educational aspirations. Associate’s degrees and diplomas have quarterly earnings returns of nearly $2,400 for women and $1,500 for men, compared with much smaller returns for certificates. There is substantial heterogeneity in returns across fields of study. Degrees, diplomas, and – for women – certificates correspond with higher levels of employment.
  • Publication
    Bilingual Education and English Proficiency
    (Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 2010-04-06)
    In 2001, California instituted a statewide test measuring English proficiency for English learners, students who are not proficient in English. In 2003 and 2004, nearly 500,000 English learners in grades 1–5 took this test each year. The relationship between bilingual education receipt and English proficiency is estimated using value-added regression models for each section of the test—listening and speaking, reading, and writing. In these regression models, students in bilingual education have substantially lower English proficiency of 0.3 standard deviations or more compared with other English learners in first and second grades. In contrast, the difference between bilingual education and other programs is usually less than 0.1 standard deviations for students in grades 3–5. These results hold for ordinary least squares, school fixed effects, and propensity score models.
  • Publication
    More skilled, better paid: Labour-market returns to postsecondary vocational education
    (Oxford University Press, 2018-04) ; ;
    Outside the USA, relatively little is known about the labour-market returns to postsecondary vocational (or polytechnic) education. Yet, polytechnics in Europe are distinct from US community colleges. This paper focuses on the labour-market returns to polytechnic attendance in Finland, where polytechnics are representative of many European countries. Using matching methods and longitudinal administrative data, we find that, compared to individuals with no postsecondary education, students who attend polytechnics have higher annual earnings of e3,300 to e3,700 and employment gains of 2.5 to 6.6 percentage points 10 years after the entry decision. However, the returns vary by personal characteristics and field of study.
    Scopus© Citations 11  34