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    LUẬN VĂN Four essays on the economics of education by Clark, Melissa A

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  6. Four essays on the economics of education by Clark, Melissa A

    Four essays on the economics of education

    This dissertation explores several issues in the economics of education. In chapter one I present an evaluation of the Kentucky Education Reform Act of 1990 (KERA), one of the most ambitious and influential education reform policies ever attempted by any state. I find that KERA successfully equalized per-pupil expenditures across rich and poor districts but that the reform's effects on student achievement were more mixed. I also find no evidence that KERA narrowed the gap in test scores between rich and poor districts. Chapter two explores selection bias in data from college admissions tests (the SAT and the ACT) due to the fact that the tests are taken by a nonrandom subset of students. I present a model of selection into SAT- versus ACT-taking and then examine state-level and micro data to test this model. I find that researchers should account for both ACT- and SAT-taking rates in analyses of college admissions test data. Chapter three, joint work with Katharine G. Abraham (a visitor to Princeton's Industrial Relations Section in 2002), examines the effects of a sharp decline in the price of public colleges and universities faced by residents of the District of Columbia following the implementation of the District of Columbia's Tuition Assistance Grant Program (DCTAG). We find that students are cost-sensitive in their college decisions and that the DCTAG program affected both the application and enrollment decisions of DC residents. Chapter four, joint work with David A. Jaeger (a visitor to the Industrial Relations Section in 1999-2000), explores the labor market returns to the General Education Development exam, or GED, for both U.S. natives and the foreign-born. We find that foreign-born men who hold a GED but received all of their formal schooling outside of the U.S. earn significantly more than either foreign-schooled dropouts or individuals with a foreign high school diploma. These patterns stand in contrast to those for U.S. natives, among whom GED recipients earn less than high school graduates but significantly more than dropouts. These results suggest that the GED may be more valuable in the labor market than some previous research suggests.
    Format: Dissertation
    Author(s): Clark, Melissa A
    Published: 2003
    Language: English

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