NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Sefi Roth

Department of Geography & Environment
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
United Kingdom

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org

NBER Working Papers and Publications

October 2014The Long Run Human Capital and Economic Consequences of High-Stakes Examinations
with Victor Lavy, Avraham Ebenstein: w20647
Cognitive performance during high-stakes exams can be affected by random disturbances that, even if transitory, may have permanent consequences for long-term schooling attainment and labor market outcomes. We evaluate this hypothesis among Israeli high school students who took a series of high stakes matriculation exams between 2000 and 2002. As a source of random (transitory) shocks to high- stakes matriculation test scores, we use exposure to ambient air pollution during the day of the exam. First, we document a significant and negative relationship between average PM2.5 exposure during exams and student composite scores, post-secondary educational attainment, and earnings during adulthood. Second, using PM2.5 as an instrument, we estimate a large economic return to each point on the exa...
The Impact of Short Term Exposure to Ambient Air Pollution on Cognitive Performance and Human Capital Formation
with Victor Lavy, Avraham Ebenstein: w20648
Cognitive performance is critical to productivity in many occupations and potentially linked to pollution exposure. We evaluate this potentially important relationship by estimating the effect of pollution exposure on standardized test scores among Israeli high school high-stakes tests (2000-2002). Since students take multiple exams on multiple days in the same location after each grade, we can adopt a fixed effects strategy estimating models with city, school, and student fixed effects. We focus on fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and carbon monoxide (CO), which are considered to be two of the most dangerous forms of air pollution. We find that while PM2.5 and CO levels are only weakly correlated with each other, both exhibit a robust negative relationship with test scores. We also find th...
 
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