Nathaniel Hilger

Department of Economics
Brown University
64 Waterman Street
Providence, RI 02912
Tel: 401/863-6297

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
NBER Program Affiliations: ED , LS
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow

NBER Working Papers and Publications

October 2016Upward Mobility and Discrimination: The Case of Asian Americans
Asian Americans are the only non-white US racial group to experience long-term, institutional discrimination and subsequently exhibit high income. I re-examine this puzzle in California, where most Asians settled historically. Asians achieved extraordinary upward mobility relative to blacks and whites for every cohort born in California since 1920. This mobility stemmed primarily from gains in earnings conditional on education, rather than unusual educational mobility. Historical test score and prejudice data suggest low initial earnings for Asians, unlike blacks, reflected prejudice rather than skills. Post-war declines in discrimination interacting with previously uncompensated skills can account for Asians’ extraordinary upward mobility.
May 2015The Great Escape: Intergenerational Mobility in the United States Since 1940
I develop a method to estimate intergenerational mobility (IM) in education on large cross-sectional surveys and apply the method to U.S. census data from 1940 to 2000. The method estimates IM directly for children age 26-29 who still live with parents and adjusts for independent children using a procedure that I validate extensively. Estimates imply large post-1940 gains in IM that were (1) driven primarily by large IM gains in the South for both whites and blacks, (2) larger for blacks due to their greater concentration in the South, and (3) driven by high school rather than college enrollment.
September 2010How Does Your Kindergarten Classroom Affect Your Earnings? Evidence From Project STAR
with Raj Chetty, John N. Friedman, Emmanuel Saez, Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, Danny Yagan: w16381
In Project STAR, 11,571 students in Tennessee and their teachers were randomly assigned to classrooms within their schools from kindergarten to third grade. This paper evaluates the long-term impacts of STAR by linking the experimental data to administrative records. We first demonstrate that kindergarten test scores are highly correlated with outcomes such as earnings at age 27, college attendance, home ownership, and retirement savings. We then document four sets of experimental impacts. First, students in small classes are significantly more likely to attend college and exhibit improvements on other outcomes. Class size does not have a significant effect on earnings at age 27, but this effect is imprecisely estimated. Second, students who had a more experienced teacher in kindergarten h...

Published: Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Nathaniel Hilger & Emmanuel Saez & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach & Danny Yagan, 2011. "How Does Your Kindergarten Classroom Affect Your Earnings? Evidence from Project Star," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1593-1660. citation courtesy of

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