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Source: NBER
Resulting in 15 citations.
1. Almond, Douglas
Currie, Janet
Human Capital Development Before Age Five
NBER Working Paper No 15827, National bureau for Economic Research, March 2010
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79
Publisher: National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Keyword(s): Childhood Education, Early; Children, Preschool; Head Start; Home Observation for Measurement of Environment (HOME); Overview, Child Assessment Data

This chapter seeks to set out what Economists have learned about the effects of early childhood influences on later life outcomes, and about ameliorating the effects of negative influences. We begin with a brief overview of the theory which illustrates that evidence of a causal relationship between a shock in early childhood and a future outcome says little about whether the relationship in question biological or immutable. We then survey recent work which shows that events before five years old can have large long term impacts on adult outcomes. Child and family characteristics measured at school entry do as much to explain future outcomes as factors that labor economists have more traditionally focused on, such as years of education. Yet while children can be permanently damaged at this age, an important message is that the damage can often be remediated. We provide a brief overview of evidence regarding the effectiveness of different types of policies to provide remediation. We conclude with a list of some of (the many) outstanding questions for future research.
Bibliography Citation
Almond, Douglas and Janet Currie. "Human Capital Development Before Age Five." NBER Working Paper No 15827, National bureau for Economic Research, March 2010.
2. Altonji, Joseph G.
Cattan, Sarah
Ware, Iain
Identifying Sibling Influence on Teenage Substance Use
NBER Working Paper 16508, National Bureau of Economic Research, National Bureau of Economic Research, October 2010.
Also: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16508
Cohort(s): NLSY97
Publisher: National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Keyword(s): Behavioral Problems; Drug Use; Family Studies; Heterogeneity; Risk-Taking; Siblings; Substance Use

A number of studies have found substantial correlations in risky behavior between siblings, raising the possibility that adolescents may directly influence the actions of their brothers or sisters. We assess the extent to which correlations in substance use and selling drugs are due to causal effects. Our identification strategy relies on panel data, the fact that the future does not cause the past, and the assumption that the direction of influence is from older siblings to younger siblings. Under this assumption along with other restrictions on dynamics, one can identify the causal effect from a regression of the behavior of the younger sibling on the past behavior and the future behavior of the older sibling. We also estimate a joint dynamic model of the behavior of older and younger siblings that allows for family specific effects, individual specific heterogeneity, and state dependence. We use the model to simulate the dynamic response of substance use to the behavior of the older sibling. Our results suggest that smoking, drinking, and marijuana use are affected by the example of older siblings, but most of the link between siblings arises from common influences.
Bibliography Citation
Altonji, Joseph G., Sarah Cattan and Iain Ware. "Identifying Sibling Influence on Teenage Substance Use." NBER Working Paper 16508, National Bureau of Economic Research, National Bureau of Economic Research, October 2010.
3. Case, Anne
Paxson, Christina
Causes and Consequences of Early Life Health
NBER Working Paper 15637, National Bureau of Economic Research, January 2010.
Also: http://www.nber.org/papers/w15637.pdf
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79
Publisher: National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Keyword(s): Birthweight; British Cohort Study (BCS); Child Health; Cognitive Development; Data Quality/Consistency; Digit Span (also see Memory for Digit Span - WISC); Disability; Earnings; Educational Attainment; Health and Retirement Study (HRS); Height; Life Course; Methods/Methodology; Modeling, Fixed Effects; NCDS - National Child Development Study (British); Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID); Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT- Math); Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT- Reading); Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT); Pre/post Natal Behavior; Self-Perception Profile for Children (SPPC); Siblings; Test Scores/Test theory/IRT

We examine the consequences of childhood health for economic and health outcomes in adulthood, using height as a marker of health in childhood. After reviewing previous evidence, we present a conceptual framework that highlights data limitations and methodological problems associated with the study of this topic. We present estimates of the associations between height and a range of outcomes, including schooling, employment, earnings, health and cognitive ability, using data collected from early to late adulthood on cohort members in five longitudinal data sets. We find height is uniformly associated with better economic, health and cognitive outcomes--a result only partially explained by the higher average educational attainment of taller individuals. We then turn to the NLSY79 Children and Young Adult Survey to better understand what specific aspects of early childhood are captured by height. We find, even among maternal siblings, taller siblings score better on cognitive tests and progress through school more quickly. Part of the differences found between siblings arises from differences in their birth weights and lengths attributable to mother's behaviors while pregnant. Taken together, these results support the hypothesis that childhood health influences health and economic status throughout the life course.
Bibliography Citation
Case, Anne and Christina Paxson. "Causes and Consequences of Early Life Health." NBER Working Paper 15637, National Bureau of Economic Research, January 2010.
4. Dave, Dhaval
Tennant, Jennifer
Colman, Gregory J.
Isolating the Effect of Major Depression on Obesity: Role of Selection Bias
Working Paper No. 17068. National Bureau of Economic Research, May 2011.
Also: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17068
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Keyword(s): Body Mass Index (BMI); CESD (Depression Scale); Depression (see also CESD); Health Factors; Health, Mental; Obesity; Weight

There is suggestive evidence that rates of major depression have risen markedly in the U.S. concurrent with the rise in obesity. The economic burden of depression, about $100 billion annually, is under-estimated if depression has a positive causal impact on obesity. If depression plays a causal role in increasing the prevalence of obesity, then policy interventions aimed at promoting mental health may also have the indirect benefits of promoting a healthy bodyweight. However, virtually the entire existing literature on the connection between the two conditions has examined merely whether they are significantly correlated, sometimes holding constant a limited set of demographic factors. This study utilizes multiple large-scale nationally-representative datasets to assess whether, and the extent to which, the positive association reflects a causal link from major depression to higher BMI and obesity. While contemporaneous effects are considered, the study primarily focuses on the effects of past and lifetime depression to bypass reverse causality and further assess the role of non-random selection on unobservable factors. There are expectedly no significant or substantial effects of current depression on BMI or overweight/obesity, given that BMI is a stock measure that changes relatively slowly over time. Results are also not supportive of a causal interpretation among males. However, among females, estimates indicate that past or lifetime diagnosis of major depression raises the probability of being overweight or obese by about seven percentage points. Results also suggest that this effect appears to plausibly operate through shifts in food consumption and physical activity. We estimate that this higher risk of overweight and obesity among females could potentially add about 10% (or $9.7 billion) to the estimated economic burden of depression.
Bibliography Citation
Dave, Dhaval, Jennifer Tennant and Gregory J. Colman. "Isolating the Effect of Major Depression on Obesity: Role of Selection Bias." Working Paper No. 17068. National Bureau of Economic Research, May 2011.
5. Ellwood, David T.
Teenage Unemployment: Permanent Scar or Temporary Blemish
Presented: Arlie House, VA, Conference on Youth Joblessness and Employment, National Bureau of Economic Research, 1979
Cohort(s): Young Men
Publisher: National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Keyword(s): Heterogeneity; Teenagers; Unemployment, Youth; Work History

Several important conclusions derive from the early pattern of labor market performances of young men: (1) The early years of labor market experience are times of substantial change. Employment rates rise, as do participation rates. Considerable evidence shows weak labor force attachment early in many young men's careers. (2) Although the distinction between time out of labor force and time unemployed is conceptually appealing, the division is not accurately captured in these retrospective data. Unemployment rates behave very erratically over time for this group. All of the results in this chapter suggest that time not employed is a far better measure of the labor market performance of young men. (3) Even though a general improvement in employment rates appears for these young men over time, early labor market patterns persist. Young men with poor records early will typically have comparatively poor records later. (4) Controls for heterogeneity eliminate at least two-thirds of the observed persistence in employment, but evidence of experience dependence remains. That is, even controlling for individual differences in the propensity to work, experience dependence remains. However, the absolute magnitude of the effect is small. There is no evidence in these data that time out of work sets off a long term cycle of recurring "nonemployment." (5) Early work experience has a sizeable impact on wages. Controlling for individual effects, experience in the second, third, or fourth year out of school tends to be associated with wage increases of between 10 and 20 percent a year.
Bibliography Citation
Ellwood, David T. "Teenage Unemployment: Permanent Scar or Temporary Blemish." Presented: Arlie House, VA, Conference on Youth Joblessness and Employment, National Bureau of Economic Research, 1979.
6. Fryer, Roland G. Jr.
Importance of Segregation, Discrimination, Peer Dynamics, and Identity In Explaining Trends in the Racial Achievement Gap
NBER Working Paper Series No. w16257, National Bureau of Economic Research, August 2010.
Also: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16257.pdf
Cohort(s): NLSY79, NLSY97
Publisher: National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Keyword(s): Achievement; Armed Forces Qualifications Test (AFQT); Discrimination, Racial/Ethnic; Educational Returns; National Education Longitudinal Survey (NELS); Racial Differences; Racial Equality/Inequality; Skill Formation

After decades of narrowing, the achievement gap between black and white school children widened in the 1990s – a period when the labor market rewards for education were increasing. This presents an important puzzle for economists. In this chapter, I investigate the extent to which economic models of segregation, information-based discrimination, peer dynamics, and identity can explain this puzzle. Under a reasonable set of assumptions, models of peer dynamics and identity are consistent with the time-series data. Segregation and models of discrimination both contradict the trends in important ways.
Bibliography Citation
Fryer, Roland G. Jr. "Importance of Segregation, Discrimination, Peer Dynamics, and Identity In Explaining Trends in the Racial Achievement Gap." NBER Working Paper Series No. w16257, National Bureau of Economic Research, August 2010.
7. Fryer, Roland G. Jr.
Racial Inequality in the 21st Century: The Declining Significance of Discrimination
NBER Working Paper Series No. w16256, National Bureau of Economic Research, August 2010.
Also: http:www.nber.org/papers/w16256.pdf
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79, NLSY79, NLSY97
Publisher: National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Keyword(s): Achievement; Armed Forces Qualifications Test (AFQT); Collaborative Perinatal Project (CPP); College and Beyond, 1976; Discrimination, Racial/Ethnic; Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS-B, ECLS-K); Home Observation for Measurement of Environment (HOME); National Education Longitudinal Survey (NELS); Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT- Math); Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT- Reading); Racial Differences; Racial Equality/Inequality; Racial Studies

There are large and important differences between blacks and whites in nearly every facet of life - earnings, unemployment, incarceration, health, and so on. This chapter contains three themes. First, relative to the 20th century, the significance of discrimination as an explanation for racial inequality across economic and social indicators has declined. Racial differences in social and economic outcomes are greatly reduced when one accounts for educational achievement; therefore, the new challenge is to understand the obstacles undermining the development of skill in black and Hispanic children in primary and secondary school. Second, analyzing ten large datasets that include children ranging in age from eight months old to seventeen years old, I demonstrate that the racial achievement gap is remarkably robust across time, samples, and particular assessments used. The gap does not exist in the first year of life, but black students fall behind quickly thereafter and observables cannot explain differences between racial groups after kindergarten. Third, we provide a brief history of efforts to close the achievement gap. There are several programs -- various early childhood interventions, more flexibility and stricter accountability for schools, data-driven instruction, smaller class sizes, certain student incentives, and bonuses for effective teachers to teach in high-need schools, which have a positive return on investment, but they cannot close the achievement gap in isolation. More promising are results from a handful of high-performing charter schools, which combine many of the investments above in a comprehensive framework and provide an "existence proof" -- demonstrating that a few simple investments can dramatically increase the achievement of even the poorest minority students. The challenge for the future is to take these examples to scale.
Bibliography Citation
Fryer, Roland G. Jr. "Racial Inequality in the 21st Century: The Declining Significance of Discrimination." NBER Working Paper Series No. w16256, National Bureau of Economic Research, August 2010.
8. Glied, Sherry A.
Neidell, Matthew J.
The Economic Value of Teeth
NBER Working Paper No. 13879, National Bureau of Economic Research, March 2008.
Also: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13879
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Keyword(s): Discrimination, Employer; Earnings, Husbands; Economic Well-Being; Gender Differences; Health Factors; Health/Health Status/SF-12 Scale; Labor Market Outcomes; Socioeconomic Status (SES); Well-Being

Healthy teeth are a vital and visible component of general well-being, but there is little systematic evidence to demonstrate their economic value. In this paper, we examine one element of that value, the effect of oral health on labor market outcomes, by exploiting variation in access to fluoridated water during childhood. The politics surrounding the adoption of water fluoridation by local water districts suggests exposure to fluoride during childhood is exogenous to other factors affecting earnings. We find that women who resided in communities with fluoridated water during childhood earn approximately 4% more than women who did not, but we find no effect of fluoridation for men. Furthermore, the effect is almost exclusively concentrated amongst women from families of low socioeconomic status. We find little evidence to support occupational sorting, statistical discrimination, and productivity as potential channels of these effects, suggesting consumer and employer discrimination are the likely driving factors whereby oral health affects earnings
Bibliography Citation
Glied, Sherry A. and Matthew J. Neidell. "The Economic Value of Teeth." NBER Working Paper No. 13879, National Bureau of Economic Research, March 2008.
9. Golosov, Michael
Troshkin, Maxim
Tsyvinski, Aleh
Weinzierl, Matthew C.
Preference Heterogeneity and Optimal Capital Income Taxation
Working Paper No. 16619. National Bureau of Economic Research, December 2010.
Also: www.nber.org/papers/w16619.pdf
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Keyword(s): Armed Forces Qualifications Test (AFQT); Cognitive Ability; Earnings; Modeling; Skilled Workers; Taxes

We examine a prominent justification for capital income taxation: goods preferred by those with high ability ought to be taxed. In an environment where commodity taxes are allowed to be nonlinear functions of income and consumption, we derive an analytical expression that reveals the forces determining optimal commodity taxation. We then calibrate the model to evidence on the relationship between skills and preferences and extensively examine the quantitative case for taxes on future consumption (saving). In our baseline case of a unit intertemporal elasticity, optimal capital income tax rates are 2% on average and 4.5% on high earners. We find that the intertemporal elasticity of substitution has a substantial effect on optimal capital taxation. If the intertemporal elasticity is one-third, optimal capital income tax rates rise to 15% on average and 23% on high earners; if the intertemporal elasticity is two, optimal rates fall to 0.6% on average and 1.6% on high earners. Nevertheless, in all cases that we consider the welfare gains of using optimal capital taxes are small.
Bibliography Citation
Golosov, Michael, Maxim Troshkin, Aleh Tsyvinski and Matthew C. Weinzierl. "Preference Heterogeneity and Optimal Capital Income Taxation." Working Paper No. 16619. National Bureau of Economic Research, December 2010.
10. Heckman, James J.
Humphries, John Eric
Mader, Nicholas S.
The GED
NBER Working Paper No. 16064, National Bureau of Economic Research, June 2010.
Also: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16064.pdf
Cohort(s): NLSY79, NLSY97
Publisher: National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Keyword(s): Dropouts; Educational Returns; GED/General Educational Diploma/General Equivalency Degree/General Educational Development; High School Dropouts; Labor Market Outcomes; Wage Growth

The General Educational Development (GED) credential is issued on the basis of an eight hour subject-based test. The test claims to establish equivalence between dropouts and traditional high school graduates, opening the door to college and positions in the labor market. In 2008 alone, almost 500,000 dropouts passed the test, amounting to 12% of all high school credentials issued in that year. This chapter reviews the academic literature on the GED, which finds minimal value of the certificate in terms of labor market outcomes and that only a few individuals successfully use it as a path to obtain post-secondary credentials. Although the GED establishes cognitive equivalence on one measure of scholastic aptitude, recipients still face limited opportunity due to deficits in noncognitive skills such as persistence, motivation and reliability. The literature finds that the GED testing program distorts social statistics on high school completion rates, minority graduation gaps, and sources of wage growth. Recent work demonstrates that, through its availability and low cost, the GED also induces some students to drop out of school. The GED program is unique to the United States and Canada, but provides policy insight relevant to any nation's educational context.
Bibliography Citation
Heckman, James J., John Eric Humphries and Nicholas S. Mader. "The GED." NBER Working Paper No. 16064, National Bureau of Economic Research, June 2010.
11. Heckman, James J.
LaFontaine, Paul A.
Bias Corrected Estimates of GED Returns
NBER Working Paper No. 12018, National Bureau of Economic Research, January 2006.
Also: http://www.nber.org/papers/w12018
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Keyword(s): Armed Forces Qualifications Test (AFQT); Current Population Survey (CPS) / CPS-Fertility Supplement; Education; GED/General Educational Diploma/General Equivalency Degree/General Educational Development; High School Completion/Graduates; High School Dropouts; Minorities; Nonresponse

Using three sources of data, this paper examines the direct economic return to GED certification for both native and immigrant high school dropouts. One data source – the CPS – is plagued by nonresponse and allocation bias from the hot-deck procedure that biases upward the estimated return to the GED. Correcting for allocation bias and ability bias, there is no direct economic return to GED certification. An apparent return to GED certification with age found in the raw CPS data is due to dropouts becoming more skilled over time. These results apply to native born as well as immigrant populations.
Bibliography Citation
Heckman, James J. and Paul A. LaFontaine. "Bias Corrected Estimates of GED Returns." NBER Working Paper No. 12018, National Bureau of Economic Research, January 2006.
12. Hungerman, Daniel M.
Do Religious Proscriptions Matter? Evidence from a Theory-Based Test
Working Paper No. 17375. National Bureau of Economic Research, August 2011.
Also: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17375
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Keyword(s): Alcohol Use; Behavior; General Social Survey (GSS); Modeling; Religion; Social Influences

A large literature shows that religious participation is associated with a wide range of behaviors and outcomes, but what drives this association is unclear. On the one hand, this association may stem from correlations in preferences, where those with tastes for religion coincidentally have particular tastes for other behaviors as well. Alternately, religious participation may directly affect behavior; for example many religious organizations impose rules and proscriptions on their members and these rules may affect members’ decisions. Using the canonical economic model of religiosity, I develop an empirical test to investigate the importance of religious proscriptions on behavior. Several empirical applications of this test are conducted; the results indicate a strong role for religious proscriptions in determining behavior. The test developed here does not require an instrumental variable for religion and could be applied to the study of criminal gangs, terrorist organizations, fraternities, communes, political groups, and other “social clubs.”
Bibliography Citation
Hungerman, Daniel M. "Do Religious Proscriptions Matter? Evidence from a Theory-Based Test." Working Paper No. 17375. National Bureau of Economic Research, August 2011.
13. Lakdawalla, Darius N.
Philipson, Tomas
The Growth of Obesity and Technological Change: A Theoretical and Empirical Examination
NBER Working Paper No. 8946, National Bureau of Economic Research, May, 2002.
Also: http://papers.nber.org/papers/W8946
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Keyword(s): Income; Job Characteristics; Obesity; Technology/Technological Changes; Weight

This paper provides a theoretical and empirical examination of the long-run growth in weight over time. We argue that technological change has induced weight growth by making home- and market-production more sedentary and by lowering food prices through agricultural innovation. We analyze how such technological change leads to unexpected relationships among income, food prices, and weight. Using individual-level data from 1976 to 1994, we then find that such technology-based reductions in food prices and job-related exercise have had significant impacts on weight across time and populations. In particular, we find that about forty percent of the recent growth in weight seems to be due to agricultural innovation that has lowered food prices, while sixty percent may be due to demand factors such as declining physical activity from technological changes in home and market production.
Bibliography Citation
Lakdawalla, Darius N. and Tomas Philipson. "The Growth of Obesity and Technological Change: A Theoretical and Empirical Examination." NBER Working Paper No. 8946, National Bureau of Economic Research, May, 2002.
14. Manski, Charles F.
Pepper, John V.
Monotone Instrumental Variables with an Application to the Returns to Schooling
NBER Technical Working Paper No. 224, National Bureau of Economic Research, February 1998.
Also: http://www.nber.org/papers/t0224
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Keyword(s): Armed Forces Qualifications Test (AFQT); Educational Returns; Schooling; Treatment Response: Monotone, Semimonotone, or Concave-monotone; Variables, Independent - Covariate; Variables, Instrumental

Econometric analyses of treatment response commonly use instrumental variable (IV) assumptions to identify treatment effects. Yet the credibility of IV assumptions is often a matter of considerable disagreement, with much debate about whether some covariate is or is not a "valid instrument" in an application of interest. There is therefore good reason to consider weaker but more credible assumptions. assumptions. To this end, we introduce monotone instrumental variable (MIV) A particularly interesting special case of an MIV assumption is monotone treatment selection (MTS). IV and MIV assumptions may be imposed alone or in combination with other assumptions. We study the identifying power of MIV assumptions in three informational settings: MIV alone; MIV combined with the classical linear response assumption; MIV combined with the monotone treatment response (MTR) assumption. We apply the results to the problem of inference on the returns to schooling. We analyze wage data reported by white male respondents to the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) and use the respondent's AFQT score as an MIV. We find that this MIV assumption has little identifying power when imposed alone. However combining the MIV assumption with the MTR and MTS assumptions yields fairly tight bounds on two distinct measures of the returns to schooling.

Published as: Manski, Charles F. and John V. Pepper.
"Monotone Instrumental Variables With An Application To The Returns To Schooling," Econometrica 68,4 (July 2000): 997-1010. Also: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2999533

Bibliography Citation
Manski, Charles F. and John V. Pepper. "Monotone Instrumental Variables with an Application to the Returns to Schooling." NBER Technical Working Paper No. 224, National Bureau of Economic Research, February 1998.
15. Stevenson, Betsey
Beyond the Classroom: Using Title IX to Measure the Return to High School Sports
NBER Working Paper No. 15728, National Bureau of Economic Research, February 2010.
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Keyword(s): Athletics (see SPORTS); Extracurricular Activities/Sports; Gender Attitudes/Roles; High School; Labor Force Participation; Labor Market Outcomes; Occupations; Racial Differences; Rural/Urban Differences; Sports (also see ATHLETICS); State-Level Data/Policy

Between 1972 and 1978 U.S. high schools rapidly increased their female athletic participation rates—to approximately the same level as their male athletic participation rates—in order to comply with Title IX, a policy change that provides a unique quasi-experiment in female athletic participation. This paper examines the causal implications of this expansion in female sports participation by using variation in the level of boys' athletic participation across states before Title IX to instrument for the change in girls' athletic participation. Analysis of differences in outcomes across states in changes between pre- and post-cohorts reveals that a 10-percentage point rise in state-level female sports participation generates a 1 percentage point increase in female college attendance and a 1 to 2 percentage point rise in female labor force participation. Furthermore, greater opportunities to play sports leads to greater female participation in previously male-dominated occupations, particularly in high-skill occupations.
Bibliography Citation
Stevenson, Betsey. "Beyond the Classroom: Using Title IX to Measure the Return to High School Sports." NBER Working Paper No. 15728, National Bureau of Economic Research, February 2010..