How Does Your Kindergarten Classroom Affect Your Earnings? Evidence from Project Star

80 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2010 Last revised: 20 Oct 2010

See all articles by Raj Chetty

Raj Chetty

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

John N. Friedman

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Nathaniel G. Hilger

Brown University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Emmanuel Saez

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach

Northwestern University - School of Education and Social Policy; NBER

Danny Yagan

Harvard University - Department of Economics

Date Written: September 2010

Abstract

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 have higher earnings. Third, an analysis of variance reveals significant classroom effects on earnings. Students who were randomly assigned to higher quality classrooms in grades K-3 - as measured by classmates' end-of-class test scores - have higher earnings, college attendance rates, and other outcomes. Finally, the effects of class quality fade out on test scores in later grades but gains in non-cognitive measures persist.

Suggested Citation

Chetty, Nadarajan (Raj) and Friedman, John Norton and Hilger, Nathaniel G. and Saez, Emmanuel and Schanzenbach, Diane Whitmore and Yagan, Danny, How Does Your Kindergarten Classroom Affect Your Earnings? Evidence from Project Star (September 2010). NBER Working Paper No. w16381. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1683131

Nadarajan (Raj) Chetty (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics ( email )

549 Evans Hall #3880
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
United States
510-643-0708 (Phone)
510-643-0413 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

John Norton Friedman

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Nathaniel G. Hilger

Brown University - Department of Economics ( email )

64 Waterman Street
Providence, RI 02912
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Emmanuel Saez

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics ( email )

549 Evans Hall #3880
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
United States
510-642-4631 (Phone)
510-642-6615 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach

Northwestern University - School of Education and Social Policy ( email )

Evanston, IL
United States

NBER ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Danny Yagan

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
90
Abstract Views
1,295
rank
280,196
PlumX Metrics