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Author:Barrow, Lisa 

Working Paper
Private school location and neighborhood characteristics

Working Paper Series , Paper WP-02-27

Working Paper
Technology’s edge: the educational benefits of computer-aided instruction

Because a significant portion of U.S. students lacks critical mathematic skills, schools across the country are investing heavily in computerized curriculums as a way to enhance education output, even though there is surprisingly little evidence that they actually improve student achievement. In this paper we present results from a randomized study in three urban school districts of a well- defined use of computers in schools: a popular instructional computer program which is designed to teach pre-algebra and algebra. We assess the impact of the program using statewide tests that cover a ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-07-17

Journal Article
The upside of down: postsecondary enrollment in the Great Recession

There have been large increases in two-year, four-year public, and four-year private college enrollment since the start of the Great Recession?slightly larger than expected based on the historical relationships between unemployment and enrollment, and significantly larger than expected if the unemployment rate had remained at 2007 levels. The increased enrollment may lead to a net lifetime benefit of roughly $3.3 billion overall, or $1,500 for each person who enrolled.
Economic Perspectives , Volume 36 , Issue Q IV

Working Paper
Women and the Phillips curve: do women’s and men’s labor market outcomes differentially affect real wage growth and inflation?

During the economic expansion of the 1990s, the United States enjoyed both low inflation rates and low levels of unemployment. Juhn, Murphy, and Topel (2002) point out that the low unemployment rates for men in the 1990s were accompanied by historically high rates of non-employment suggesting that the 1990s economy was not as strong as the unemployment rate might indicate. We include women in the analysis and examine whether the Phillips curve relationships between real compensation growth, changes in inflation, and labor market slackness are the same for men and women and whether measures of ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-03-22

Working Paper
Teachers and student achievement in the Chicago public high schools

We match administrative data on Chicago public high school students and teachers at the classroom level to estimate the importance of teachers to mathematics test score gains. We show that sampling variation and other measurement issues are important drivers of nave estimates of teacher effects, in some cases accounting for the majority of dispersion in teacher quality. However, correcting for these problems, teachers are still economically and statistically influential. Replacing a teacher with another that is rated two standard deviations superior in quality can add 0.35 to 0.45 grade ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-02-28

Working Paper
The Pathway to Enrolling in a High-Performance High School: Understanding Barriers to Access

In 2017, Chicago Public Schools adopted an online universal application system for all high schools with the hope of providing more equitable access to high-performance schools. Despite the new system, Black students and students living in low-socioeconomic status (SES) neighborhoods remained less likely than their peers to enroll in a high-performance high school. In this paper, we characterize various constraints that students and families may face in enrolling in a high-performance high school including eligibility to programs based on prior academic achievement, distance from ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2020-32

Working Paper
Financial incentives and educational investment: the impact of performance-based scholarships on student time use

Using survey data from a field experiment in the U.S., we test whether and how financial incentives change student behavior. We find that providing post-secondary scholarships with incentives to meet performance, enrollment, and/or attendance benchmarks induced students to devote more time to educational activities and to increase the quality of effort toward, and engagement with, their studies; students also allocated less time to other activities such as work and leisure. While the incentives did not generate impacts after eligibility had ended, they also did not decrease students? inherent ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2013-07

Working Paper
The Signaling, Screening, and Human Capital Effects of National Board Certification: Evidence from Chicago and Kentucky High Schools

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards recognizes teachers who meet performance standards for “accomplished” educators. States and districts provide support for teachers to obtain this certification, which is considered an honor in the field. Using high school data from Chicago and Kentucky, we examine whether participation in the time- and resource-intensive certification process improves teacher productivity and, ultimately, if recognized teachers are of higher quality than their non-certified peers. We find the certification process itself did not increase teacher ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP 2020-06

Working Paper
Using market valuation to assess the importance and efficiency of public school spending

In this paper we take a "market-based" approach to examine whether increased school expenditures are valued by potential residents and whether the current level of public school provision is inefficient. We do so by employing an instrumental variables strategy to estimate the effect of state education aid on residential property values. We find evidence that, on average, additional state aid is valued by potential residents and that school districts appear to spend efficiently or, if anything, underspend. We also find that school districts spend less efficiently in areas in which they face ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-00-4

Working Paper
Causality, causality, causality: the view of education inputs and outputs from economics

Educators and policy makers are increasingly intent on using scientifically-based evidence when making decisions about education policy. Thus, education research today must necessarily be focused on identifying the causal relationships between education inputs and student outcomes. In this paper we discuss methodologies for estimating the causal effect of resources on education outcomes; we also review what we believe to be the best evidence from economics on a few important inputs: spending, class size, teacher quality, the length of the school year, and technology. We conclude that while ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-05-15

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