Christopher Jepsen

Christopher Jepsen
University College Dublin | UCD · School of Economics

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57
Publications
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1,285
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Introduction

Publications

Publications (57)
Article
An extensive literature on labor-market outcomes by sexual orientation finds lower wages for men in same-sex couples and higher wages for women in same-sex couples compared to their counterparts in different-sex couples. Previous studies analyzing multiple time periods provide suggestive evidence that the wage penalty for men in same-sex couples is...
Article
This paper provides a novel contribution to studies of race and labor-market outcomes by using fantasy football statistics as a measure of performance across offensive skill positions and arrest data as a proxy for negative off-the-field behavior. We investigate whether the determinants of salaries and employment vary between 2005-06 and 2015-16, a...
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This paper examines the labor-market returns to a new form of postsecondary vocational education: vocational master's degrees. We use individual fixed effects models on a matched sample of students and non-students from Finland to capture any time-invariant differences across individuals. We find that attendance in vocational master's programs lead...
Article
Outside the USA, relatively little is known about the labour-market returns to postsecondary vocational (or polytechnic) education. Yet, polytechnics in Europe are distinct from US community colleges. This paper focuses on the labour-market returns to polytechnic attendance in Finland, where polytechnics are representative of many European countrie...
Article
We evaluate the educational returns to General Educational Development (GED) certification using state administrative data. We use fuzzy regression discontinuity (FRD) methods to account for the fact that GED test-takers can repeatedly retake the test until they pass it and the fact that test-takers have to pass all five subtests before receiving t...
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Although many studies document differences by sexual orientation in earnings and other labor-market outcomes, little is known about differences in self-employment. Our study contributes to both the self-employment literature and sexual-orientation literature by analyzing differences in self-employment rates and earnings by sexual orientation. Gay m...
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This paper provides the first analysis of the relationship between the language mix of Limited English Proficient (LEP) peers and student achievement, using detailed panel data from 2006 to 2012. Percent LEP has a negative association with mathematics and reading test scores, more so for non-LEP students than for LEP students. The overall language...
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We use data from the 2000 decennial U.S. Census to compare differences in earnings, hours worked, and labor-force participation between members of different household types, including same-sex couples, different-sex couples, and roommates. Both same-sex and different-sex couples exhibit some degree of household specialization, whereas roommates sho...
Article
Reducing class size is a popular education policy measure with parents, teachers, and policymakers. However, research shows that reducing class size leads to, in most cases, only modest improvements in student achievement. Also, students in early grades appear to gain more from smaller classes than older students. Despite extensive research on clas...
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Much is known about private returns to education in the form of higher earnings. Less is known about social value, over and above the private, market value. Associations between education and socially-desirable outcomes are strong, but disentangling the effect of education from other causal factors is challenging. The purpose of this paper is to es...
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This paper assesses the causal effects of Catholic primary schooling on student outcomes such as test scores, grade retention, and behavior. Catholic school students have substantially better average outcomes than do public school students throughout the primary years, but we present evidence that selection bias is entirely responsible for these ad...
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Abstract This paper provides the first estimates of the labor-market returns to community college diplomas and certificates. Using administrative data from Kentucky, I find earnings returns of around 30 percent for associate’s degrees and diplomas for women, compared to returns of 10 percent or less for men. Certificates have a small positive retur...
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There is a vast literature on the decision to enroll in higher education, but it focuses almost entirely on traditional students: 18 year olds graduating from high school. Yet less than half of students at degree-granting institutions are in the traditional 18-22 age range; nearly 40% are at least 25. This paper examines the enrollment behavior of...
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Full-text available
In this paper, we evaluate the labor-market returns to General Educational Development (GED) certification using Missouri administrative data. We develop a fuzzy regression discontinuity (FRD) method to account for the reality that GED test takers can repeatedly retake the test until they pass it. Our technique can be applied to other situations wh...
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Full-text available
In 2001, California instituted a statewide test measuring English proficiency for English learners, students who are not proficient in English. In 2003 and 2004, nearly 500,000 English learners in grades 1–5 took this test each year. The relationship between bilingual education receipt and English proficiency is estimated using value-added regressi...
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Policy makers are becoming increasingly concerned about the high percentage of students who attend postsecondary education without completing a degree. Researchers have studied numerous potential determinants of retention behavior for postsecondary students, such as financial aid, socioeconomic status, academic preparedness, academic and social int...
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This article looks at the labor-market returns to Kentucky community colleges' degrees, diplomas, and certificates. Associate's degrees and diplomas are associated with increases in quarterly earnings of approximately 20 percent for men and 40 percent for women. Certificates are associated with quarterly earnings increases of 9 percent for men and...
Article
This paper investigates the effects of California’s billion-dollar class-size-reduction program on student achievement. It uses year-to-year differences in class size generated by variation in enrollment and the state’s class-size-reduction program to identify both the direct effects of smaller classes and related changes in teacher quality. Althou...
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The housing literature considers whether the probability of owning a home is different for ethnic and racial minorities than for native whites. Most studies find that minorities are less likely to own a home than their white counterparts. A logical extension of this line of research is to consider whether home-ownership rates differ based on sexual...
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State governments offer tax and location-based incentives to entice firms to locate or expand operations in their state. We evaluate the effect of these incentives on employment using a panel data of Kentucky counties. These data are unique because they contain information on actual incentives received rather than on incentives offered, an importan...
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The substantial literature on access to higher education has a narrow focus: the effect of tuition on the enrollment decisions of 18-year-olds seeking bachelors degrees. But for non-traditional (i.e. older) students who tend to prefer community college, access is more about a school's location than about its tuition and fees. Using data on over 150...
Article
This paper investigates the effects of California’s billion-dollar class-size-reduction program on student achievement. It uses year-to-year differences in class size generated by variation in enrollment and the state’s class-size-reduction program to identify both the direct effects of smaller classes and related changes in teacher quality. Althou...
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This paper explores differences by race, ethnicity, and immigrant generation in an individual's likelihood of completing either a 2-year or a 4-year degree. Blacks and, to a lesser extent, Hispanics are more likely than whites to complete a 4-year degree.
Article
A vast body of research finds an association between missteps taken during the teen years (such as motherhood or dropping out of high school) and poor economic and educational outcomes. However, youth who take major missteps as teens often have subsequent success in school or the labor market. This paper attempts to draw lessons from youth who appe...
Article
THE YOUTH POPULATION of the United States is becoming increasingly diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, and nativity. Although U.S.-born, non-Hispanic whites remain the majority group, their share fell from 75 to 61 percent between 1980 and 2000 and is expected to fall to 55 percent by 2020. More than 10 percent of youths are immigrants and nearly...
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Many policy makers view the enforcement of statutory rape laws as a way to reduce teenage childbirths. This article considers whether unmarried teenage girls covered by a state statutory rape law are less likely to give birth than girls who are not covered by a statutory rape law. The presence of statutory rape laws is negatively correlated with no...
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Full-text available
We compare cohabiting couples to roommates to see if couples specialize by allocating the time of one person to the labor market and the other to the home. Roommates are an interesting comparison group. Like couples, they live together. Unlike couples, they have no incentives to specialize. We study same-sex couples because, by definition, they are...
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Teachers and peers are believed to have a strong influence on student achievement, but the specific characteristics that affect student achievement are hard to identify. This paper utilizes teacher survey data to investigate teacher characteristics that are not usually available in administrative data, as well as more readily available attributes s...
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Although extensive research has compared Catholic and public high schools, little is known about Catholic primary schools. Using unique data for two cohorts of primary school students, I find that Catholic schooling does not have a significant effect on mathematics and reading test scores. These findings do not change when school level test scores...
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This paper investigates possible reasons for the disparity in results in the private school competition literature. In particular, the focus is on the data set, the grade range, and level of aggregation of the competition variable, and on the choice of OLS or IV estimation strategies. The results show that the size and significance of the competiti...
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Full-text available
This paper investigates the effects of California's class size reduction program on teacher quality and student achievement in an effort to gain a comprehensive understanding of the impact of a large-scale decrease in class size. It uses year-to-year differences in class size generated by natural variation in enrollment and the state's class size r...
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Full-text available
We used 1990 Census data to compare the matching behaviors of four types of cohabiting couples: same-sex male couples, same-sex female couples, opposite-sex unmarried couples, and married couples. In general, we found evidence of positive assortative mating for all traits and across all types of couples. The positive assortative mating, however, is...
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This paper uses 1990 census data to test Becker's predictions of gender-based specialization for labor-market outcomes by comparing the matching behaviors of four types of couples: same-sex male couples, same-sex female couples, opposite-sex cohabiting couples, and married couples. Correlations and conditional logit results support Becker's predict...
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Full-text available
Although researchers often study the schooling decisions of teenagers, they rarely consider the decision of adults whether to return to school. Adults have considerable labor-market experience, providing them with more accurate information about future earnings at their current education level. This paper investigates the relationship between earni...

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Project (1)
Project
This project aims to investigate the impact of the 12-week undergraduate class ‘Human Learning’, on student’s academic motivation, college identity, momentary engagement in online learning, and achievement.