NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Evaluating the Gifted Program of an Urban School District using a Modified Regression Discontinuity Design

Billie Davis, John Engberg, Dennis N. Epple, Holger Sieg, Ron Zimmer

NBER Working Paper No. 16414
Issued in September 2010
NBER Program(s):   CH   ED   PE

This paper examines the impact of a gifted program on retention in an urban school district using a regression discontinuity design. Gifted programs often employ IQ thresholds for admission, with those above the threshold being admitted. One common problem with the RD design arises if the forcing variable (the IQ score) is manipulated, thus invalidating the standard research design. We proposed a modified RD estimator that deals with manipulation in the forcing variable. Once we properly correct for manipulation of test scores around the cut-off points, we find evidence that the gifted program offered by the district has a positive effect on retention of higher income students.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w16414

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