An Analysis of the No Child Left Behind Act Using Gradual Switching Regressions
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Using a rich panel data set, this paper conducts unique analysis on the structural and overall effects of the No Child Left Behind Act on the sixty-seven county school systems in Alabama. A system of equations is specified to test the effects of NCLB on education production, quality, and cost. Gradual change to the new policy regime is modeled using both linear and non-linear specifications. Wald tests firmly reject the null hypothesis that NCLB had no effect on the rural education market. However, the effects appear to be confined to structural change, as the intercept shifters across the equations were jointly zero. A key and robust finding is that the county school system in Alabama exhibits constant returns to scale.