Causality, Causality, Causality: The View of Education Inputs and Outputs from Economics

47 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2005

See all articles by Lisa Barrow

Lisa Barrow

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Cecilia E. Rouse

Princeton University - Industrial Relations Section; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: November 2005

Abstract

Educators and policy makers are increasingly intent on using scientifically-based evidence when making decisions about education policy. Thus, education research today must necessarily be focused on identifying the causal relationships between education inputs and student outcomes. In this paper we discuss methodologies for estimating the causal effect of resources on education outcomes; we also review what we believe to be the best evidence from economics on a few important inputs: spending, class size, teacher quality, the length of the school year, and technology. We conclude that while the number of papers using credible identification strategies is thin, the body of credible research on causal relationships is growing, and we have started to gather evidence that some school inputs matter while others do not.

Keywords: school finance, class size, teacher quality, education, length of school year

JEL Classification: I2

Suggested Citation

Barrow, Lisa and Rouse, Cecilia E., Causality, Causality, Causality: The View of Education Inputs and Outputs from Economics (November 2005). FRB of Chicago Working Paper No. 2005-15. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=869440 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.869440

Lisa Barrow (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago ( email )

230 South LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60604
United States
312-322-5073 (Phone)
312-322-2357 (Fax)

Cecilia E. Rouse

Princeton University - Industrial Relations Section ( email )

Princeton, NJ 08544-2098
United States
609-258-4042 (Phone)
609-258-2907 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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