Center for Policy Research
426 Eggers Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|July 2016||The Gap within the Gap: Using Longitudinal Data to Understand Income Differences in Student Achievement|
with Susan Dynarski: w22474
Gaps in educational achievement between high- and low-income children are growing. Administrative datasets maintained by states and districts lack information about income but do indicate whether a student is eligible for subsidized school meals. We leverage the longitudinal structure of these datasets to develop a new measure of persistent economic disadvantage. Half of 8th graders in Michigan are eligible for a subsidized meal, but just 14 percent have been eligible for subsidized meals in every grade since kindergarten. These children score 0.94 standard deviations below those never eligible for subsidies and 0.23 below those occasionally eligible. There is a negative, linear relationship between grades spent in economic disadvantage and 8th grade test scores. This is not an exposure ef...
Published: Katherine Michelmore & Susan Dynarski, 2017. "The Gap Within the Gap," AERA Open, vol 3(1).