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The gender gap in mathematics: evidence from a middle-income country
Using a large administrative data set from Chile, we find that, on average, boys perform better than girls in mathematics. In this paper, we document several features of their relative performance. First, we note that the gender gap appears to increase with age (it doubles between fourth grade and eighth grade). Second, we test whether commonly proposed explanations such as parental background and investment in the child, unobserved ability, and classroom environment (including teacher gender) help explain a substantial portion of the gap. While none of these explanations help in explaining a ...
State Capacity and Public Goods: Institutional Change, Human Capital, and Growth in Early Modern Germany
What are the origins and consequences of the state as a provider of public goods? We study legal reforms that established mass public education and increased state capacity in German cities during the 1500s. These fundamental changes in public goods provision occurred where ideological competition during the Protestant Reformation interacted with popular politics at the local level. We document that cities that formalized public goods provision in the 1500s began differentially producing and attracting upper tail human capital and grew to be significantly larger in the long-run. We study ...
The impact of student loan debt on small business formation
Small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy and account for approximately one-half of the private-sector economy and 99% of all businesses. To start a small business, individuals need access to capital. Given the importance of an entrepreneur?s personal debt capacity in financing a startup business, student loan debt, which is difficult to discharge via bankruptcy, can have lasting effects and may have an impact on the ability of future small business owners to raise capital. This study examines the impact of the growth in student debt on net small business formation. We find a ...
Early Childhood Education and the Economy
A child's first few years provide a strong foundation for future development. Early childhood education programs can increase future labor force productivity, decrease societal costs, and ultimately lead to a stronger economy.