Entry Date:
May 10, 2012

School Effectiveness and Inequality Initiative (SEII)

Principal Investigator Joshua Angrist

Co-investigators David Autor , David Sears , Glenn Ellison , Danielle Wedde , Parag Pathak , Eryn Heying

Project Website http://seii.mit.edu/

The School Effectiveness and Inequality Initiative is a research pro­gram based in the MIT Department of Economics. SEII focuses on the eco­nom­ics of edu­ca­tion and the con­nec­tions between human cap­i­tal and the American income distribution.

Research Topics include:
Income Distribution:
(*) How Do Increased Imports from China Impact America’s Regional Labor Markets?
(*) How Does Growth in the U.S. Service Sector Impact Labor Polarization?
(*) What is the Impact of Minimum Wage on Earnings Inequality?

(*) What are the Costs of Free Entry?
(*) What Impact do Foreclosures Have on the Pricing of Homes?
(*) What Were the Effects of Ending Rent Control in Cambridge MA?

School Assignment:
(*) Are Parents Gaming their School Assignment?
(*) How Are Lotteries Used in Student Assignment?
(*) Why Change School Choice Mechanisms?

School Reform:
(*) What Makes Charter Schools Effective?
(*) How Effective Are Boston Charter and Pilot Schools?
(*) Do Elite Exam Schools Add Value?

(*) SEII and the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation
(*) Study of IDEA Public Schools in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley

SEII), based within the Department of Economics, uses rigorous experimental and quasi-experimental methods to examine how education and economics are linked. SEII is helmed by faculty co-directors Joshua Angrist, David Autor, and Parag Pathak and is backed by more than 25 affiliated faculty, postdocs, and graduate students. SEII is the first research group to link the economic theory of market design -- that is, the study of centralized school assignment schemes such as are now used in many American school districts—with questions of education policy. Theirs isn’t research in a vacuum: SEII’s studies have led to major educational reform and policy change since launching in 2011.