The Kid's Speech: The Effect of Stuttering on Human Capital Acquisition

43 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2011

See all articles by Daniel I. Rees

Daniel I. Rees

University of Colorado Denver; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Joseph J. Sabia

San Diego State University - Department of Economics

Abstract

A number of studies have shown that childhood speech impairments such as stuttering are associated with lower test scores and educational attainment. However, it is unclear whether this result is causal in nature or whether it can be explained by difficult-to-measure heterogeneity at the community, family, or individual level. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and ordinary least squares, we show that stuttering is negatively associated with high school grades, the probability of high school graduation, and the probability of college attendance. However, empirical specifications with family fixed effects or controls for learning disabilities such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder suggest that these associations can, in large part, be explained by difficult-to-measure heterogeneity.

Keywords: speech impairment, stuttering, human capital, educational attainment

JEL Classification: I1, I2

Suggested Citation

Rees, Daniel I. and Sabia, Joseph J., The Kid's Speech: The Effect of Stuttering on Human Capital Acquisition. IZA Discussion Paper No. 5781, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1867050

Daniel I. Rees (Contact Author)

University of Colorado Denver ( email )

Campus Box 181
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80218
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Joseph J. Sabia

San Diego State University - Department of Economics ( email )

5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182
United States

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