The Effects Of Private Schooling On Adult Economic Outcomes
The objective of this paper is to investigate the longer-term adult economic outcomes of attending a private school: the analysis seeks to determine if private schooling may have an additional non-cognitive impact that is not captured by childhood outcomes such as test scores and academic attainment. Using the longitudinal design of the PSID data set the analysis follows children aged 3 to 12 years old in 1968 into adulthood (1995 to 2001); a Probit regression model is used to determine the effect of type of schooling on the probability of the individual living in poverty as an adult. The effect of attending a private Catholic school is significant across different specifications and considerable in magnitude: controlling for socio-demographic variables, attending a Catholic private school, as opposed to a public school, is predicted to reduce the probability of adult poverty by 5.7 percentage points, holding all other variables in the model constant at the respective sample mean. Further, the effect is concentrated among male students: for boys, attending a private Catholic school reduces the probability of adult poverty by 10.8 percentage points, holding all else constant at the sample mean. Despite qualifications with respect to the possibility of selection bias, the magnitude and consistency of the effect of private Catholic schooling deserves attention by education policy.
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