Does School Quality Explain the Recent Black/White Wage Trend?
University of Chicago
Whether educational quality can explain the break in the trend toward black/white wage equality.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Journal of Labor Economics
Vol. 14, No. 2, pp. 231-253
- School segregation appears to have important effects on wages.
- School quality fails to explain the break in the trend toward racial wage equality.
- High School significantly and substantially affect students post graduation wages, in excess of any effect they may have on educational attainment. Yet characteristics of schools typically thought to measure educational quality -such as class size and the length of school year- do not explain these effects.
- Educational quality explains very little of the recent black/white wage trend. The average quality of schools attended by blacks and whites was nearly equal by the early 1970's. Moreover, the returns to school quality were generally low and changed little over time.
- The instrumental variables estimates make no more compelling a case for the importance of these particular school characteristics than their OLS counterparts.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Achievement Gap, Class Size, Labor Market, Long Term Outcomes, Outcomes, School Quality, Segregation
Secondary Survey Data
Method of Analysis:
Unit of Analysis:
- Sample were only men who participated in the base year survey and the follow-up wave from which the data were drawn and who were working full-time and not enrolled in school at the time their wages were observed.
- Earnings from the class of 1972 and 1979, and from the class of 1980 in 1986. Two longitudinal studies commissioned by the US Department of Education that follow different cohorts of recent high school graduates.
- Use data from : National Longitudinal Study of High School class of 1972, survey of about 21,000 high school seniors who graduated in 1972; and from the High School and Beyond (HSB) panel of roughly 12,000 members of the high school class of 1980.
- DV: Logarithm of the hourly wage.
- IV: Family background, ability, school quality measures, educational attainment, labor market experience, dummies for race, region, and urban or rural residence. Instrumental variables: used state-level quality measures as instruments to provide consistent estimates of the effect of school quality.