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ERIC Number: ED513041
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 143
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1092-4127-3
Essays on the Economics of Education
Meer, Jonathan
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Stanford University
The first chapter of this dissertation examines the effects of peers on charitable giving. While these types of effects have been of considerable interest to social scientists, there is little empirical evidence on their magnitude. A correlation between giving or volunteering by one's peers and one's own giving can be driven by self-selection into groups, common shocks that inspire both the solicitor to ask and the individual to give, or social influence. Using data from a university, this paper analyzes whether alumni are more likely to give and give larger amounts when they are solicited by someone with whom they have social ties. Freshman year roommate assignments and the structure of the university's giving campaigns are used to overcome problems of selection and common shocks. Social ties play a strong causal role in the decision to donate and the average gift size. Additionally, a solicitor's request is much more effective if he or she shares characteristics, such as race, with the alumnus being solicited. The second chapter, coauthored with Harvey S. Rosen and published in the February 2009 issue of the "American Economic Journal: Economic Policy", examines alumni contributions to an anonymous research university. If alumni believe that donations will increase the likelihood of admission for their children and if this belief helps motivate their giving, then the pattern of giving should vary systematically with the ages of their children, whether the children ultimately apply to the university, and the admissions outcome. We call this pattern the "child-cycle of alumni giving". The evidence is strongly consistent with the child-cycle pattern. Thus, while altruism drives some giving, the hope for a reciprocal benefit plays a role as well. We compute rough estimates of the proportion of giving due to selfish motives. The third chapter, published in the September 2007 issue of "Economics of Education Review", examines claims that students on a vocational track would benefit from a more academically rigorous education. While vocational education in high schools has frequently been stigmatized as an anachronistic, dead-end path for students, selection bias confounds attempts to untangle the effects of academic tracking on income after high school. Using data from the National Education Longitudinal Survey of 1988 and an econometric framework that accounts for this bias, I find evidence of comparative advantage in tracking. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A