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College Achievement and Attainment Gaps: Evidence from West Point Cadets

Dario Cestau, Dennis Epple, Richard Romano, Holger Sieg, Carl Wojtaszek

NBER Working Paper No. 27162
Issued in May 2020
NBER Program(s):Economics of Education, Labor Studies, Public Economics

Assessing the effectiveness of education by race and gender is as difficult as it is important. We investigate this question utilizing data for eleven cohorts at West Point, a distinguished military academy and highly ranked liberal arts college. Employing matching using entry scores on three comprehensive measures, we obtain exceptional matches of score distributions for black and matched white students. We find black students have lower graduating achievement scores than matched white students, but comparable rates of graduation, retention in the Army after graduation, and early promotion. Hispanic-white comparisons reveal no differences. Female-male comparisons reveal women have lower attainment and retention rates.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w27162

 
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