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Essays on the economics of education

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Title: Essays on the economics of education
Author(s): Edwards, Finley C.
Director of Research: Lubotsky, Darren
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Lubotsky, Darren
Doctoral Committee Member(s): Laschever, Ron; McMillen, Daniel; Powers, Elizabeth T.
Department / Program: Economics
Discipline: Economics
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Education economics start times regression discontinuity Carnegie classifications
Abstract: This dissertation is composed of three distinct essays. The abstracts for each individual essay are given below: The Effect of Daily Start Times on Academic Performance Local school districts often stagger daily start times for their schools in order to reduce busing costs. This paper uses data on all middle school students in Wake County, NC from 1999-2006 to identify the causal effect of daily start times on academic performance. Using variation in start times within schools over time, the effect is a two percentile point gain in math test scores and a one and a half percentile point gain in reading test scores. The effect is stronger for students in the lower end of the distribution of test scores, and is roughly similar to raising parent’s education by one year. I find evidence supporting increased sleep, less time spent watching television and more time spent on homework as mechanisms through which start times affect test scores. Expectations of Future Subsidies and Educational Enrollment This essay uses a regression discontinuity approach to evaluate the effect of Progresa, a con- ditional cash transfer program in rural Mexico where mothers are given cash grants conditional on their childrens school attendance. I identify separate effects for initial-treatment and delayed treatment villages. In 1999, the year before eligible households in the delayed-treatment villages began receiving transfer, Progressa eligibility increased secondary school enrollment by 5.0 per- cent in delayed-treatment villages and 10.9 percent in initial-treatment villages. iiThe Effect of College Type on Income This essay measures the differential return to college type (as defined by the Carnegie Classi- fications). Using data from the NLSY79, I find that graduates of traditional liberal arts colleges have similar incomes to graduates of other types in the first ten years of their careers, but receive a wage premium of up to twenty-five percent in later years. In contrast, graduates of professional oriented bachelor’s colleges earn as much as twenty-nine percent less than other graduates through out their careers, and Research I graduates receive a ten percent premium. Results are similar for both regression models and propensity score matching methods.
Issue Date: 2012-02-01
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/29527
Rights Information: Copyright 2011 by Finley C. Edwards. All rights reserved.
Date Available in IDEALS: 2014-02-01
Date Deposited: 2011-12
 

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