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The differential impact of compulsory schooling laws on school quality in the United States segregated South

Shahar Sansani

Economics of Education Review, 2015, vol. 45, issue C, 64-75

Abstract: In this paper, I estimate the differential effects of compulsory schooling laws on school quality between black and white schools in the United States segregated South. I employ state-level data on length of school terms and pupil–teacher ratios to examine these responses. Other literature has found that stricter compulsory schooling legislation failed to impact black students’ education levels in terms of years of schooling, while having a modest increase on white students’ years of schooling. I find that an increase in the age at which a child could receive a work permit led to a small increase in the term length in black schools relative to white schools. On the whole, however, the differential effects on school quality are small in scope and magnitude. This finding suggests that in the context I examine, changes in school quality are a minor issue when using compulsory schooling laws as an instrument for educational attainment or when estimating the overall impact of compulsory schooling laws on educational attainment.

Keywords: Quality of education; Education inequality; Government education policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 I24 I28 J24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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