Douglas O . Staiger

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This paper uses a unique data set to measure peer effects among college roommates. Freshman year roommates and dormmates are randomly assigned at Dartmouth College. I find that peers have an impact on grade point average and on decisions to join social groups such as fraternities. Residential peer effects are markedly absent in other major life decisions(More)
We used a random-assignment experiment in Los Angeles Unified School District to evaluate various non-experimental methods for estimating teacher effects on student test scores. Estimated teacher effects from a pre-experimental period were used to predict student achievement following random assignment of teachers to classrooms. While all of the teacher(More)
ABSTRACT We use six years of data on student test performance to evaluate the effectiveness of certified, uncertified, and alternatively certified teachers in the New York City public schools. On average, the certification status of a teacher has at most small impacts on student test performance. However, among those with the same certification status,(More)
Most papers that employ Differences-in-Differences estimation (DD) use many years of data and focus on serially correlated outcomes but ignore that the resulting standard errors are inconsistent. To illustrate the severity of this issue, we randomly generate placebo laws in state-level data on female wages from the Current Population Survey. For each law,(More)
O ver the last decade, states have constructed elaborate incentive systems for schools using school-level test scores. By the spring of 2002, nearly every state and the District of Columbia had implemented some form of accountability for public schools using test scores. For instance, the state of California spent nearly $700 million on financial incentives(More)
Low birth weight (LBW) infants experience severe health and developmental difficulties that can impose large costs on society. However, estimates of the return to LBW-prevention from cross-sectional associations may be biased by omitted variables, such as genetic factors. To address this, we compare the hospital costs, health at birth, and infant mortality(More)
In 2005, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita forced many children to relocate across the southeast. While schools quickly enrolled evacuees, families in receiving schools worried about the impacts on incumbent students. We find no effect, on average, of the inflow of evacuees on achievement in Houston, though we find some evidence of peer effects for students in(More)
We study the impact of a public school choice lottery in Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools on college enrollment and degree completion. We find a significant overall increase in college attainment among lottery winners who attend their first choice school. Using rich administrative data on peers, teachers, course offerings and other inputs, we show that the(More)
Research on the relationship between teachers’ characteristics and teacher effectiveness has been underway for over a century, yet little progress has been made in linking teacher quality with factors observable at the time of hire. However, most research has examined a relatively small set of characteristics that are collected by school administrators in(More)
Public school choice plans are intended to increase equity and quality in education by offering students at under-performing schools immediate academic gains from attending a higherachieving school and by creating demand-side pressure on under-performing schools to improve. We develop a model to show how these gains from choice depend on heterogeneity in(More)