The Black-White Gap in Non-Cognitive Skills among Elementary School Children

50 Pages Posted: 27 Nov 2018

See all articles by Todd E. Elder

Todd E. Elder

Michigan State University

Yuqing Zhou

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Anderson School of Management, Students

Date Written: November 2, 2018

Abstract

Using data from two Early Childhood Longitudinal Study cohorts, we find large black-white gaps in teacher-reported measures of non-cognitive skills. We show that these measures likely understate true racial disparities in non-cognitive skills because of systematic differences across schools in what teacher reports represent. Correcting for the resulting bias nearly doubles the size of the estimated gaps, to roughly the same magnitude as analogous gaps in achievement test scores. We then use the British Cohort Study of 1970 to provide suggestive evidence that non-cognitive skills account for large black-white disparities in adult outcomes, including arrest rates and educational attainment.

JEL Classification: I21, J15

Suggested Citation

Elder, Todd E. and Zhou, Yuqing, The Black-White Gap in Non-Cognitive Skills among Elementary School Children (November 2, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3277607 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3277607

Todd E. Elder

Michigan State University ( email )

110 Marshall-Adams Hall
Department of Economics
East Lansing, MI 48824
United States
517-355-0353 (Phone)

Yuqing Zhou (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Anderson School of Management, Students ( email )

Los Angeles, CA
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.yuqingzhou.com/

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