Jacob L. Vigdor

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We study the extent to which U. S. urban development is sprawling and what determines differences in sprawl across space. Using remote-sensing data to track the evolution of land use on a grid of 8.7 billion 30 30 meter cells, we measure sprawl as the amount of undeveloped land surrounding an average urban dwelling. The extent of sprawl remained roughly(More)
We use data on statewide end-of-course tests in North Carolina to examine the relationship between teacher credentials and student achievement at the high school level. The availability of test scores in multiple subjects for each student permits us to estimate a model with student fixed effects, which helps minimize any bias associated with the non-random(More)
For a three-year time period beginning in 2001, North Carolina awarded an annual bonus of $1800 to certified math, science and special education teachers working in public secondary schools with either high-poverty rates or low test scores. Using longitudinal data on teachers, we estimate hazard models that identify the impact of this differential pay by(More)
Education researchers and policymakers agree that teachers differ in terms of quality and that quality matters for student achievement. Despite prodigious amounts of research, however, debate still persists about the causal relationship between specific teacher credentials and student achievement. In this paper, we use a rich administrative data set from(More)
This paper uses decennial Census data to examine trends in immigrant segregation in the United States between 1910 and 2000. Immigrant segregation declined in the first half of the century, but has been rising steadily over the past three decades. Analysis of restricted access 1990 Census microdata suggests that this rise would be even more striking if the(More)
We use administrative data covering all public school students in the state of North Carolina to estimate the relationship between peer characteristics and student achievement. In models defining peer groups at the classroom level and employing school fixed effects, we find a significant positive relationship between peer ability, as measured by 3 grade(More)
We use data on statewide end-of-course tests in North Carolina to examine the relationship between teacher credentials and student achievement at the high school level. The availability of test scores in multiple subjects for each student permits us to estimate a model with student fixed effects, which helps minimize any bias associated with the non-random(More)
Churches provide community services similar to those provided by the government, but there has been no convincing analysis of the extent to which church activity can substitute for government activity. To address this important issue, this paper uses a new panel data set of Presbyterian Church (USA) congregations to regress both church-member donations and(More)
Although many factors combine to make a successful school, most people agree that quality teachers and school principals are among the most important requirements for success, especially when success is defined by the ability of the school to raise the achievement of its students. The central question for this study is how the quality of the teachers and(More)