AdvisorOaxaca, Ronald L.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractEducation today is inseparable from the accumulation of human capital. The New York Times called human capital the most important asset in our portfolio. In my dissertation, I analyze the effectiveness of different educational policies and programs in Mexico and the United States. In the first chapter of my dissertation I study the differences in the academic performance of students in the double-shift schooling system in Mexico. The double-shift schooling system is a common policy in countries with constrained resources. This policy is viewed as a way to serve more students. In Mexico, people believe that the morning shift provides better educational opportunities than the afternoon shift. This belief and, as a result, the excess demand for the morning shift have created a biased selection of better students into the morning session. The results suggest that a non-random assignment of students to schooling sessions explains the apparent academic inequality between students from different sessions. The second chapter of my dissertation evaluates the Gifted and Talented Program in the elementary schools of TUSD. Gifted education and tracking ability programs have attracted a great deal of attention from education and economic researchers. However, there is no definite conclusion about the effects of these programs. In addition, the program placement is likely to be endogenous with respect to outcomes. The results suggest that there is a positive effect of the self-contained program, however, the instrumental variables estimation show no evidence of the effect. In the third chapter I study school preferences under the open enrollment policy in the U. S. Some of the nation's largest districts are forced to close schools because of declines in student enrollment and budget cuts. Public schools are losing enrollment to charter schools. Moreover, under the open enrollment law students are opting out to other, more attractive, neighboring districts. In order to keep schools open the school administration needs to understand what characteristics of schools would attract and keep students in schools. The results show that students are more likely to choose big schools in wealthier neighborhoods, with low mobility rates, and higher average scores.
Degree ProgramGraduate College