Theses Doctoral

Essays on Human Capital Investment

Goodman, Sarena

This dissertation contains a collection of essays on human capital formation and social service provision in the United States. The chapters evaluate three policies targeted to populations for whom the development and retention of skills is particularly critical—young adults, children, and the near-homeless. The first and second chapters focus on uncovering methods that could enhance the performance of the U.S. educational system: the first chapter examines a policy that better aligns educational expectations and potential among secondary school students; the second chapter evaluates a policy that incentivizes teachers to improve achievement among students in high-poverty primary and secondary schools. The third chapter examines an intervention designed to assist high-need families on the brink of homelessness. The chapters are also linked methodologically: in each, I exploit the exact timing of policy events (i.e., testing mandates, the opportunity for teachers to earn bonuses, the availability of homelessness prevention services) to identify their causal effects.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
O'Flaherty, Brendan
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
April 5, 2013