Sandra Black

Sandra Black
University of Texas at Austin | UT · Department of Economics

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76
Publications
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11,468
Citations

Publications

Publications (76)
Article
Using administrative data from Norway, we document that gifts and inheritances are a more important component of total income for women than for men. This is particularly true at the very top of the distributions of total lifetime income and net wealth. These differences are not due to gender differences in the receipt of intergenerational transfer...
Article
While recent research has found that birth order affects outcomes such as education and earnings, the evidence for effects on health is more limited. This paper uses a large Norwegian dataset to focus on the relationship between birth order and a range of health and health-related behaviors, outcomes not previously available in datasets of this mag...
Article
Using population data from Norway, we examine the effects of stress induced by the death of the mother's parent during pregnancy on both the short-run and the long-run outcomes of the infant. Using a variety of empirical strategies to address the issue of nonrandom exposure to death during a pregnancy, we find small negative effects on birth outcom...
Article
Research increasingly shows that differences in endowments at birth need not be genetic but instead are influenced by environmental factors while the fetus is in the womb. In addition, these differences may persist well beyond childhood. In this paper, we study one such environmental factor – exposure to radiation—that affects individuals across th...
Article
Job reallocation is considered to be a key characteristic of well-functioning labor markets, as more productive firms grow and less productive ones contract or close. However, despite its potential benefits for the economy, there are significant costs that are borne by displaced workers. We study how job displacement in Norway affects cardiovascula...
Article
Given the wide use of childcare subsidies across countries, it is surprising how little we know about the effect of these subsidies on children's longer run outcomes. Using a sharp discontinuity in the price of childcare in Norway, we are able to isolate the effects of childcare subsidies on both parental and student outcomes. We find very small an...
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Full-text available
In this Chapter, we critically review the sizable literature that values school quality and performance through housing valuations. While highly variable in terms of research quality, the literature consistently finds housing valuations to be significantly higher in places where measured school quality is higher. Thus parents are prepared to pay su...
Article
Cognitive skills have been shown to be a strong predictor of educational attainment and future labor market success; as a result, understanding the determinants of cognitive skills can lead to a better understanding of children's long run outcomes. But how do families influence the ability of children? This paper uses a large dataset on the male po...
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Full-text available
Economists and social scientists have long been interested in intergenerational mobility, and documenting the persistence between parents and children’s outcomes has been an active area of research. However, since Gary Solon’s 1999 Chapter in the Handbook of Labor Economics, the literature has taken an interesting turn. In addition to focusing on o...
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Full-text available
A variety of public campaigns, including the "Just Say No" campaign of the 1980s and 1990s that encouraged teenagers to "Just Say No to Drugs", are based on the premise that teenagers are very susceptible to peer influences. Despite this, very little is known about the effect of one's peers in middle school and high school on the long-run outcomes...
Article
A variety of public campaigns, including the “Just Say No” campaign of the 1980s and 1990s that encouraged teenagers to “Just Say No to Drugs”, are based on the premise that teenagers are very susceptible to peer influences. Despite this, very little is known about the effect of school peers on the long-run outcomes of teenagers. This is primarily...
Article
More able parents tend to have more able children. While few would question the validity of this statement, there is little large-scale evidence on the intergenerational transmission of IQ scores. Using a larger and more comprehensive dataset than previous work, we are able to estimate the intergenerational correlation in IQ scores, examining not j...
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This article investigates whether increasing mandatory educational attainment through compulsory schooling legislation encourages women to delay childbearing. We use variation induced by changes in compulsory schooling laws in both the US and Norway to estimate the effect in two very different institutional environments. We find evidence that incre...
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Full-text available
Does it matter when a child starts school? While the popular press seems to suggest it does, there is limited evidence of a long-run effect of school starting age on student outcomes. This paper uses data on the population of Norway to examine the role of school starting age on longer-run outcomes such as IQ scores at age 18, educational attainment...
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Full-text available
While recent research finds strong evidence that birth order affects children’s outcomes such as education and earnings, the evidence on the effects of birth order on IQ is decidedly mixed. This paper uses a large dataset on the population of Norway that allows us to precisely measure birth order effects on IQ. We find a strong and significant effe...
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Full-text available
This paper uses Norwegian data to estimate the effect of family size on IQ scores of men. Instrumental variables (IV) estimates using sex composition as an instrument show no significant negative effect of family size; however, IV estimates using twins imply that family size has a negative effect on IQ scores. Our results suggest that the effect of...
Article
The closing of the gender wage gap is an ongoing phenomenon in industrialized countries. However, research has been limited in its ability to understand the causes of these changes, due in part to an inability to directly compare the work of women to that of men. In this study, we use a new approach for analyzing changes in the gender pay gap that...
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Full-text available
Lower birth weight babies have worse outcomes, both short-run in terms of one-year mortality rates and longer run in terms of educational attainment and earnings. However, recent research has called into question whether birth weight itself is important or whether it simply reflects other hard-to-measure characteristics. By applying within twin tec...
Article
Since unification, the debate about Germany's poor economic performance has focused on supply-side weaknesses, and the associated reform agenda sought to make low-skill labour markets more flexible. We question this diagnosis using three lines of argument. First, effective restructuring of the supply side in the core advanced industries was carried...
Article
In recent decades, there has been rising anxiety about the quality of the public education in the United States. However, it is important to note that this has not always been the case; in fact, the United States has long been a leader in terms of the public provision of education at all levels of schooling. This chapter documents this history, des...
Article
There is an extensive theoretical literature that postulates a trade off between child quantity and quality within a family. However, there is little causal evidence that speaks to this theory. Using a rich dataset on the entire population of Norway over an extended period of time, we examine the effects of family size and birth order on the educat...
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Full-text available
A growing body of literature over the past decade suggests that a firm’s organizational structure/capital can contribute in significant ways to the productive capacity of a firm. But, as with other intangible assets, there is no consensus definition of what this organizational capital is, how to measure it, or how to best quantify its contribution...
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Full-text available
There is an extensive theoretical literature that postulates a trade-off between child quantity and quality within a family. However, there is little causal evidence that speaks to this theory. Using a rich data set on the entire population of Norway over an extended period of time, we examine the effects of family size and birth order on the educa...
Article
Parents with higher education levels have children with higher education levels. However, is this because parental education actually changes the outcomes of children, suggesting an important spillover of education policies, or is it merely that more able individuals who have higher education also have more able children? This paper proposes to ans...
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Full-text available
Research suggests that teenage childbearing adversely affects both the outcomes of the mothers as well as those of their children. We know that low-educated women are more likely to have a teenage birth, but does this imply that policies that increase educational attainment reduce early fertility? This paper investigates whether increasing mandator...
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Full-text available
Among the perceived inputs in the "production" of child quality is family size; there is an extensive theoretical literature that postulates a tradeoff between child quantity and quality within a family. However, there is little causal evidence that speaks to this theory. Our analysis is able to overcome many limitations of the previous literature...
Article
This paper argues that changes in workplace organisation, including re-engineering, teams, incentive pay and employee voice, have been a significant component of the turnaround in productivity growth in the US during the 1990s. Our work goes beyond measuring the impact of computers on productivity and finds that these types of workplace innovation...
Article
This paper argues that changes in workplace organisation, including re-engineering, teams, incentive pay and employee voice, have been a significant component of the turnaround in productivity growth in the US during the 1990s. Our work goes beyond measuring the impact of computers on productivity and finds that these types of workplace innovation...
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Full-text available
This Economic Letter looks at how increased managerial focus on employee involvement, quality management, continuous innovation, and incentive-based compensation has boosted labor productivity and draws out some implications for future productivity gains. The research summarized here indicates that the combination of investment in new technology al...
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An argument dating from Gary Becker's work in 1957, but seldom tested, is that discrimination withers in an increasingly competitive environment because its practice raises production costs. This study finds that employers in concentrated U.S. manufacturing industries--which, compared to competitive industries, are largely insulated from competitiv...
Article
Complementing existing work on firm organizational structure and productivity, this article examines the impact of organizational change on workers. We find evidence that employers do appear to compensate at least some of their workers for engaging in high-performance workplace practices. We also find a significant association between high-performa...
Article
Parents with higher education levels have children with higher education levels. However, is this because parental education actually changes the outcomes of children, suggesting an important spillover of education policies, or is it merely that more able individuals who have higher education also have more able children? This paper proposes to ans...
Article
Full-text available
Since unification, the debate about Germany's poor economic performance has focused on supply-side weaknesses, and the associated reform agenda sought to make low-skill labour markets more flexible. We question this diagnosis using three lines of argument. First, effective restructuring of the supply side in the core advanced industries was carried...
Article
Full-text available
While trends in college enrollment for blacks and whites have been the subject of study for a number of years, little attention has been paid to the variation in college enrollment by socioeconomic status (SES). It is well documented that, controlling for family background, blacks are more likely to enroll in college than whites. This relationship...
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While researchers have long held that discrimination cannot endure in an increasingly competitive environment, there has been little work testing this dynamic process. This paper tests the hypothesis (based on Becker 1957) that increased competition resulting from globalization in the 1980s forced employers to reduce costly discrimination against w...
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Full-text available
Using data from a unique nationally representative sample of businesses, the Educational Quality of the Workforce National Employers Survey (EQW-NES), matched with the Bureau of the Census' Longitudinal Research Database (LRD), we examine the impact of workplace practices, information technology, and human capital investments on productivity. We es...
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Full-text available
This paper seeks to provide new insight into how school and post school training investments are linked to employer workplace practices and outcomes using a unique nationally representative survey of establishments in the U.S., the Educational Quality of the Workforce National Employers Survey (EQW-NES). We go beyond simply measuring the incidence...
Article
The literature is divided on the expected effects of increased competition and consolidation in the financial sector on the supply of credit to relationship borrowers. This paper tests whether policy changes fostering competition and consolidation in U.S. banking helped or harmed entrepreneurs. We find that the rate of new incorporations increases...
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Until the middle of the 1970s, regulations constrained banks' ability to enter new markets. Over the subsequent 25 years, states gradually lifted these restrictions. This paper tests whether rents fostered by regulation were shared with labor, and whether firms were discriminating by sharing these rents disproportionately with male workers. We find...
Article
The evaluation of numerous school reforms requires an understanding of the value of better schools. Given the difficulty of calculating the relationship between school quality and student outcomes, I turn to another method and use house prices to infer the value parents place on school quality. I look within school districts at houses located on at...
Article
It is now well documented that the gender wage gap declined substantially in the 1980s, despite rising overall wage inequality. While Blau and Kahn (JoLE 1997) attribute much of this improvement to gains in women's relative labor market experience and other observable characteristics, a substantial part of the decline in the gender wage gap remains...
Article
Credit card lenders have been writing off loans at sharply higher rates since 1995, suggesting that riskier borrowers are acquiring credit cards. What makes the new borrowers riskier--even more than their personal characteristics and attitudes toward debt--is the fact that they carry higher debt burdens and work in occupations where income may be m...
Article
Several researchers have attempted to measure the value of educational quality by examining its impact on wages earned by students later in life. Adopting an alternative approach, the author of this study calculates what people are willing to pay to reside in a community with superior schools. Controlling for neighborhood characteristics and school...
Article
Using data from a 1994 survey of U.S. establishments, the authors investigate how the incidence, content, and extent of employer-provided training were linked to workplace practices and characteristics, physical capital investments, and workers' education. Formal training programs were positively associated with establishment size, the presence of...
Article
Using data from a 1994 survey of U.S. establishments, the authors investigate how the incidence, content, and extent of employer-provided training were linked to workplace practices and characteristics, physical capital investments, and workers' education. Formal training programs were positively associated with establishment size, the presence of...
Article
Empirical consumer payment price sensitivity has implications for theory, optimal regulation of payment card networks, and business strategy. A critical margin is the price of a credit card charge. A revolver who did not pay her most recent balance in full pays interest; other credit card users do not. I find that revolvers are substantially less l...
Article
This paper seeks to provide new insight into employer-provided training investment and how they are linked to workplace practices, physical capital investments, and educational qualifications of workers. Using a new and unique nationally representing survey of establishments in the US, we go beyond measuring the incidence of training to also examin...
Article
In 1996, Congress passed the Interstate Banking andBranching Efficiency Act, which allowed banks to branch across state lines andto purchase banks in any state.This act contributed to an increase inexpansion-seeking banks.The focus here is on the ways in which thesestructural changes in banking have impacted the availability of bank credit andthe r...
Article
Economists and social scientists have long been interested in intergenerational mobility, and documenting the persistence between parents and children's outcomes has been an active area of research. However, since Gary Solon's 1999 Chapter in the Handbook of Labor Economics, the literature has taken an interesting turn. In addition to focusing on o...
Article
It is clear that birth order affects children's outcomes along a number of dimensions, including education and earnings, although recent evidence from the psychology literature provides mixed evidence of the effects of birth order on IQ. The evidence on the effect of family size is even more mixed, with inconclusive results on all outcomes. This pa...

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