Department of Economics
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Information about this author at RePEc
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|May 2018||The Impact of High School Curriculum on Confidence, Academic Success, and Mental and Physical Well-Being of University Students|
with Naci Mocan: w24573
This paper investigates the causal effect of high school curriculum on various student outcomes including academic performance at the university, happiness, physical and mental health, self-confidence, confidence in academic ability, and attitudes towards studying and learning. We exploit a curriculum reform in China, the implementation of which started in 2004. The reform covered all provinces and municipal cities, and was rolled out in different years in different provinces. The new curriculum pivoted away from the old lock-step course structure where all students took the same courses and only those subject that were covered in the national university entrance exam were considered important. In contrast, the new curriculum introduced a course credit system, changed textbooks, and prov...
|August 2017||Can Superstition Create a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy? School Outcomes of Dragon Children of China|
with Naci H. Mocan: w23709
In Chinese culture those who are born in the year of the Dragon under the zodiac calendar are believed to be destined for good fortune and greatness, and parents prefer their kids to be born in a Dragon year. Using province level panel data we show that the number of marriages goes up during the two years preceding a Dragon year and that births jump up in a Dragon year. Using three recently collected micro data sets from China we show that those born in a Dragon year are more likely to have a college education, and that they obtain higher scores at the university entrance exam. Similarly, Chinese middle school students have higher test scores if they are born in a Dragon year. We show that these results are not because of family background, student cognitive ability, self-esteem or student...