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Jel Classification:I24 

Working Paper
Institution, Major, and Firm-Specific Premia: Evidence from Administrative Data

We examine how a student?s major and the institution attended contribute to the labor market outcomes of young graduates. Administrative panel data that combine student transcripts with matched employer-employee records allow us to provide the first decomposition of premia into individual and firm-specific components. We find that both major and institutional premia are more strongly related to the firm-specific component of wages than the individual-specific component of wages. On average, a student?s major is a more important predictor of future wages than the selectivity of the institution ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-24

Working Paper
Affirmative Action and Racial Segregation

A number of states have recently prohibited the use of affirmative action in admissions to public universities statewide. A growing body of research suggests that these affirmative action bans reduce minority enrollment at selective colleges while leaving overall minority college enrollment rates unchanged. The effect of these bans on racial segregation across colleges has not yet been estimated directly and is theoretically ambiguous due to a U-shaped relationship between minority enrollment and college selectivity. This paper uses variation in the timing of affirmative action bans across ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1636

Working Paper
Decomposing Outcome Differences between HBCU and Non-HBCU Institutions

This paper investigates differences in outcomes between historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) and traditional college and universities (non-HBCUs) using a standard Oaxaca/Blinder decomposition. This method decomposes differences in observed educational and labor market outcomes between HBCU and non-HBCU students into differences in characteristics (both student and institutional) and differences in how those characteristics translate into differential outcomes. Efforts to control for differences in unobservables between the two types of students are undertaken through ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2020-10

Journal Article
Student Loan Debt: Can Parental College Savings Help?

Postsecondary education costs in the United States today are rising with an increasing shift from societal responsibility to individual burden, thereby driving greater student borrowing. Evidence suggests that (i) such student debt may have undesirable educational effects and potentially jeopardize household balance sheets and (ii) student loans may better support educational attainment and economic mobility if accompanied by other, non-repayable financial awards. However, given declines in need-based aid and falling state support for postsecondary costs, policymakers and parents alike have ...
Review , Volume 96 , Issue 4 , Pages 331-357

Working Paper
The Roles of State Aid and Local Conditions in Elementary School Test-Score Gaps

Equal educational opportunity is a core American value. Yet many children of low-income or minority racial or ethnic status attend public schools that are lower quality compared with those that white children or high-income children attend. And data indicate that, on average, low-income or minority children score lower on states’ elementary-school accountability tests compared with higher-income children or white children. Such test-score gaps serve as evidence of unequal educational opportunity. This study uses information from metropolitan areas and from school districts to understand ...
Working Papers , Paper 21-2

Report
Educational assortative mating and household income inequality

We document the degree of educational assortative mating, how it evolves over time, and the extent to which it differs between countries. Our analysis focuses on the United States but also uses data from Denmark, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Norway. We find evidence of positive assortative mating at all levels of education in each country. However, the time trends vary by the level of education: Among college graduates, assortative mating has been declining over time, whereas individuals with a low level of education are increasingly sorting into internally homogeneous marriages. These ...
Staff Reports , Paper 682

Report
Information heterogeneity and intended college enrollment

Despite a robust college premium, college attendance rates in the United States have remained stagnant and exhibit a substantial socioeconomic gradient. We focus on information gaps? specifically, incomplete information about college benefits and costs?as a potential explanation for these patterns. In a nationally representative survey of U.S. household heads, we show that perceptions of college costs and benefits are severely and systematically biased: 74 percent of our respondents underestimate the true benefits of college (average earnings of a college graduate relative to a non-college ...
Staff Reports , Paper 685

Journal Article
“Family Achievements?”: How a College Degree Accumulates Wealth for Whites and Not For Blacks

A college education has been linked to higher life-time earnings and better economic achievements, so the expectation would be that it is also linked to higher net wealth for everybody. However, recent analyses challenge this hypothesis and find that the expectation holds true for White college-educated households but not for Black college-educated households. To examine this finding further and investigate the role of family financial transfers in household net wealth, the authors perform a mixed-method study using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics for a 24-year period, 1989-2013, ...
Review , Volume 99 , Issue 1 , Pages 121-137

Working Paper
The Impact of Chicago's Small High School Initiative

This project examines the effects of the introduction of new small high schools on student performance in the Chicago Public School (CPS) district. Specifically, we investigate whether students attending small high schools have better graduation/enrollment rates and achievement than similar students who attend regular CPS high schools. We show that students who choose to attend a small school are more disadvantaged on average, including having prior test scores that are about 0.2 standard deviations lower than their elementary school classmates. To address the selection problem, we use an ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2014-20

Working Paper
House price growth when children are teenagers: a path to higher earnings?

The United States has a long history of promoting homeownership through the mortgage interest tax deduction, and home equity constitutes an important source of borrowing collateral. There is a sizable body of work studying how fluctuating house prices impact consumer behavior. Since college tuition costs pose a large financial burden for many U.S. families, access to housing equity may impact decisions about pursuing a post-secondary education. This paper adds to the literature by using MSA-level house-price variation and data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to study the link between ...
Working Papers , Paper 14-13

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