ArchiveFebruary 2016

The price we pay for keeping disruptive students in the classroom

I wonder how many teachers would find these results surprising: The Long-Run Effects of Disruptive Peers A large and growing literature has documented the importance of peer effects in education. However, there is relatively little evidence on the long-run educational and labor market consequences of childhood peers. We examine this question by linking administrative data on elementary school...

The mismatch hypothesis lives: affirmative action hurts minorities in STEM

From the latest issue of the American Economic Review: University Differences in the Graduation of Minorities in STEM Fields: Evidence from California We examine differences in minority science graduation rates among University of California campuses when racial preferences were in place. Less prepared minorities at higher ranked campuses had lower persistence rates in science and took longer to...

20% of all surveys are based on fraudulent data?

So claims some researchers: How often do people conducting surveys simply fabricate some or all of the data? Several high-profile cases of fraud over the past few years have shone a spotlight on that question, but the full scope of the problem has remained unknown.  Yesterday, at a meeting in Washington, D.C., a pair of well-known researchers, Michael Robbins and Noble Kuriakose, presented a...

Why grit is overrated (and genes are underrated)

These findings, the researchers noted in the British version of the study, “turn some of the fundamental assumptions about education upside down.” While intelligence may be genetic, achievement has always been thought to be due to the environmental influences of home and school. The non-cognitive components of school success include traits such as self-efficacy and motivation, curiosity...

Why you might go bankrupt if your next-door neighbor wins the lottery

Research released this month by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia found a significant jump in bankruptcies among households living near someone who won a big lottery jackpot. The economists theorized that people may have seen the good fortune next door and felt pressure to accumulate more assets of their own, especially flashy purchases like cars, that they simply could not afford.

WWC: first-year experience courses have no effect

The WWC recently reviewed the research on the impacts of first year experience courses for students in developmental education and found that existing research on the practice shows no discernible effects on academic achievement, progress through developmental education, and credit accumulation and persistence for postsecondary students. Read the full report and learn more about the study that...

Don’t tell voters how much we spend on education

This study examines the role of information in shaping public opinion in the context of support for education spending. While there is broad public support for increasing government funding for public schools, Americans tend to underestimate what is currently spent. We embed a series of experiments in a nationally representative survey administered in 2012 (n= 2,993) to examine whether informing...

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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