THE EFFECTS OF SECONDARY SCHOOL QUALITY ON THE DISTRIBUTION OF EARNINGS
Eric R. Eide
Mark H. Showalter
David P. Sims
A number of researchers have investigated the effects of school quality on average earnings in the postschooling years. In this article we broaden the discussion to investigate whether school quality has a measurable impact at other points in the conditional earnings distribution. We find that in specifications that do not control for individual and family background characteristics there are differential effects of school resources on earnings. The most significant effects occur in the top half of the conditional earnings distribution. However, after controlling for a variety of demographic variables, much of the impact of school resources on earnings is diminished. Exceptions to this seem to be school enrollment levels and, to a lesser degree, expenditures: higher enrollments tend to raise the upper tail of the earnings distribution without a similar increase in the bottom of the distribution; the effect of expenditures is positive and significant for the 0.25 quantile and the median. Copyright 2002 Western Economic Association International.
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