ArchiveMay 2014

Understanding variation in treatment effects in education

A new report issued by IES: A key purpose of rigorous evaluations of education programs and interventions is to inform policy choices. Typically, such assessments focus on the overall or average treatment effect of the intervention on key outcomes. However, there are also important program and policy questions that pertain to variation in treatment effects across subgroups of study participants...

The importance of financial resources for student loan repayment: evidence from Canada

Government student loan programs must balance the need to enforce repayment among borrowers who can afford to make their payments with some form of forgiveness or repayment assistance for those who cannot. Using unique survey and administrative data from the Canada Student Loan Program, we show that nearly all recent borrowers with annual incomes above $40,000 make their standard loan payments...

There is no student loan problem

Don Heller nails it in this Washington Post op-ed, my favorite quote:
It is not uncommon to read stories about college students who say, “I woke up one day and realized I had $50,000 in outstanding student loans and had no idea how I got there.”  And yet nobody would accept at face value someone stating, “I woke up one day driving a Mercedes and had no idea how I was $50,000 in debt.”

Is college for everyone?

There seem to be more people questioning whether we should be pushing the completion agenda as much as we are. A blog post from the NY Times has some responses from parents whose kids are not taking the traditional route after college. This doesn’t sound good: Anxiety abounds for some parents of students who feel compelled to follow the path their friends are taking. “My stepdaughter is...

Medieval Universities, Legal Institutions, and the Commercial Revolution

We present new data documenting medieval Europe’s Commercial Revolution using information on the establishment of markets in Germany. We use these data to test whether medieval universities played a causal role in expanding economic activity, examining the foundation of Germany’s first universities after 1386 following the papal schism. We find that the trend rate of market establishment breaks...

About me


Professor and quant guy. Libertarian turned populist Republican. Trying to learn Japanese and play Spanish Baroque music on the ukulele.

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