NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Medium-Term Impacts of High-Achieving Charter Schools on Non-Test Score Outcomes

Will Dobbie, Roland G. Fryer, Jr

NBER Working Paper No. 19581
Issued in October 2013
NBER Program(s):Children, Economics of Education, Labor Studies

High-performing charter schools can significantly increase the test scores of poor urban students. It is unclear whether these test score gains translate into improved outcomes later in life. We estimate the effects of high-performing charter schools on human capital, risky behaviors, and health outcomes using survey data from the Promise Academy in the Harlem Children's Zone. Six years after the random admissions lottery, youth offered admission to the Promise Academy middle school score 0.283 standard deviations higher on a nationally-normed math achievement test and are 14.1 percentage points more likely to enroll in college. Admitted females are 12.1 percentage points less likely to be pregnant in their teens, and males are 4.3 percentage points less likely to be incarcerated. We find little impact of the Promise Academy on self-reported health. We conclude with speculative evidence that high-performing schools may be sufficient to significantly improve human capital and reduce certain risky behaviors among the poor.

download in pdf format
   (334 K)

email paper

A non-technical summary of this paper is available in the May 2014 NBER digest.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Digest by email.

Supplementary materials for this paper:

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w19581

Published: “The Medium-Term Impacts of High-Achieving Charter Schools,” with Roland Fryer, Journal of Political Economy, 123(5): 985-1037, 2015.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Hoxby and Murarka w14852 Charter Schools in New York City: Who Enrolls and How They Affect Their Students' Achievement
Angrist, Cohodes, Dynarski, Pathak, and Walters w19275 Stand and Deliver: Effects of Boston's Charter High Schools on College Preparation, Entry, and Choice
Fryer w17494 Injecting Successful Charter School Strategies into Traditional Public Schools: A Field Experiment in Houston
Dobbie and Fryer w15473 Are High Quality Schools Enough to Close the Achievement Gap? Evidence from a Social Experiment in Harlem
Dobbie and Fryer w17632 Getting Beneath the Veil of Effective Schools: Evidence from New York City
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us