Award Year

2014

Award Type

Honorable Mention

Dissertation Advisor

Gary Solon

Abstract

This dissertation consists of three self-contained chapters investigating current issues in the economics of education. The first chapter investigates the effects of school closing policies on student achievement by examining over 200 school closings in Michigan. The second chapter examines the effects of a shortened school year policy on student achievement. Changing the length of the school year has dramatic potential effects for student achievement, but the magnitude of these effects will depend on the extent to which parents and teachers respond to the policy change. This study examines student achievement in public schools in Hawaii, which furloughed teachers on 17 Fridays during the 2009–2010 school year. The final chapter, coauthored with Seth Gershenson and Michael Hayes, looks at teacher grade reassignments in elementary schools. We use teacher-level micro data from Michigan to document the prevalence and distribution of grade-level reassignments across different types of schools and teachers.

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