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ERIC Number: ED555911
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 143
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3035-1674-0
Essays on Educational Achievement
Ampaabeng, Samuel Kofi
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Clark University
This dissertation examines the determinants of student outcomes--achievement, attainment, occupational choices and earnings--in three different contexts. The first two chapters focus on Ghana while the final chapter focuses on the US state of Massachusetts. In the first chapter, I exploit the incidence of famine and malnutrition that resulted to examine the impact of early childhood malnutrition on adult cognitive outcomes. Using unique dataset from Ghana which combines individual, family, school and community characteristics, I estimate the effects of the famine on the cohort aged between 0-8 during the famine. In addition, I introduce Bayesian Model Averaging method to deal with inherent model uncertainty. Eighteen years after the famine, individuals with ages between 0 and 2 who experienced intense famine scored lower on IQ tests and had fewer years of schooling. This topic is of interest within the sub-Saharan Africa context in many ways. First, in many parts of the continent, and the world at large, vulnerable children still experience malnutrition. The results presented here, which corroborates what is in the literature, means there will be considerable micro and macro effects long adulthood. Second, there are significant economic costs to famine that go beyond just the period of famine. In the case of Ghana, I estimate a significant drop in GDP as a result of the famine on the vulnerable cohort. Starting in 1997 when they entered the labor force, by a simple calculation, the country loses up to 0.4% of GDP each year. The second chapter considers the peculiar case of Ghana where the required years of pre-tertiary schooling were reduced drastically from 17 to 12 years. The reforms that ushered in this policy also introduced pre-vocational training at the middle school level with the aim of exposing students to vocational training. I examine whether these changes have had any effects on students in terms of occupational choices and levels of education completed. I find modest changes in occupational choices as a result of the reforms. In addition, the returns to education for students in rural areas have increased by a significant amount. In the third chapter, I consider the effects of school resources on educational achievement of grade 10 students in Massachusetts. This paper contributes to the age-old discussion on the effects of school resources by examining the heterogeneity in the effects of school resources on the achievement. By heterogeneity, I mean the differences in socioeconomic status (SES) of students. I show that not all school resources affect all students in the same way along the distribution of SES. [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: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ghana; Massachusetts