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A big fish in a small pond: Ability rank and human capital investment

Elsner, Benjamin; & Isphording, Ingo, E. (2017). A big fish in a small pond: Ability rank and human capital investment. Journal of Labor Economics, 35(3), 787-828.

Elsner, Benjamin; & Isphording, Ingo, E. (2017). A big fish in a small pond: Ability rank and human capital investment. Journal of Labor Economics, 35(3), 787-828.

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We study the impact of a student’s ordinal rank in a high school cohort on educational attainment several years later. To identify a causal effect, we compare multiple cohorts within the same school, exploiting idiosyncratic variation in cohort composition. We find that a student’s ordinal rank significantly affects educational outcomes later in life. Students with a higher rank are significantly more likely to finish high school and to attend college. Exploring potential channels, we find that students with a higher rank have higher expectations about their future career, as well as a higher perceived intelligence.




JOUR



Elsner, Benjamin
Isphording, Ingo, E.



2017


Journal of Labor Economics

35

3

787-828


April 3, 2017





10.1086/690714



7006