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Nuns and the Effects of Catholic Schools Evidence from Vatican II

Rania Gihleb

No 5857, Working Paper from Department of Economics, University of Pittsburgh

Abstract: This paper examines the causal effects of Catholic schooling on educational attainment.Using a novel instrumental-variable approach that exploits an exogenous shockto the Catholic school system, we show that the positive correlation between Catholicschooling and student outcomes is explained by selection bias. Spearheaded by theuniversal call to holiness, the reforms that occurred at the Second Vatican Councilproduced a dramatic exogenous change in the cost/benefit ratio of religious life in theCatholic Church. Using the abrupt decline in the number of Catholic sisters as aninstrument for Catholic schooling, we find no evidence of positive effects on studentoutcomes.

Date: 2015-01
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Related works:
Journal Article: Nuns and the effects of catholic schools. Evidence from Vatican II (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: Nuns and the Effects of Catholic Schools: Evidence from Vatican II (2013) Downloads
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