NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Peter Hull

Department of Economics,
MIT
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

November 2015Leveraging Lotteries for School Value-Added: Testing and Estimation
with Joshua Angrist, Parag A. Pathak, Christopher Walters: w21748
Conventional value-added models (VAMs) compare average test scores across schools after regression-adjusting for students’ demographic characteristics and previous scores. This paper tests for VAM bias using a procedure that asks whether VAM estimates accurately predict the achievement consequences of random assignment to specific schools. Test results from admissions lotteries in Boston suggest conventional VAM estimates are biased, which motivates the development of a hierarchical model describing the joint distribution of school value-added, bias, and lottery compliance. We use this model to assess the substantive importance of bias in conventional VAM estimates and to construct hybrid value-added estimates that optimally combine ordinary least squares and lottery-based instrumental var...

Published: Joshua D. Angrist & Peter D. Hull & Parag A. Pathak & Christopher R. Walters, 2017. "Leveraging Lotteries for School Value-Added: Testing and Estimation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(2), pages 871-919. citation courtesy of

December 2014Charters Without Lotteries: Testing Takeovers in New Orleans and Boston
with Atila Abdulkadiroğlu, Joshua D. Angrist, Parag A. Pathak: w20792
Lottery estimates suggest oversubscribed urban charter schools boost student achievement markedly. But these estimates needn’t capture treatment effects for students who haven’t applied to charter schools or for students attending charters for which demand is weak. This paper reports estimates of the effect of charter school attendance on middle-schoolers in charter takeovers in New Orleans and Boston. Takeovers are traditional public schools that close and then re-open as charter schools. Students enrolled in the schools designated for closure are eligible for “grandfathering” into the new schools; that is, they are guaranteed seats. We use this fact to construct instrumental variables estimates of the effects of passive charter attendance: the grandfathering instrument compares students ...

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