Cecilia Rouse

First name
Cecilia
Last name
Rouse
Abstract

Although women are underrepresented in the field of economics, many people see little
need for intervention, arguing that women are inherently less interested in economics, or are less
willing or able to acquire the math skills needed to do well in the subject. At the same time,
others support active efforts to increase the number of women in the field, pointing to other
possible causes of their current underrepresentation. These people argue, for example, that
women are deterred from entering the field because of a lack of female role models, or that
women are discouraged by an unappealing classroom environment. This study attempts to
assess these hypotheses. We examine the factors that influence undergraduate students’
decisions to become economics majors by analyzing a survey of students in the introductory
economics course at Harvard University as well as data on an entire class of students from
Harvard's registrar.
We find that although women in the introductory economics course at Harvard tend to
begin the course with a weaker math background than men, math background does not appear
to explain much of the gender difference in students’ decisions about whether to major in
economics. The class environment and the presence or absence of role models also do not
explain much of the gender gap. On the other hand, women do less well in economics relative
to their other courses than men do, and controlling for this difference in relative performance
significantly diminishes the estimated gender gap. An economically large, but statistically
insignificant, difference between sexes in the probability of majoring in economics remains,
however. This remaining gender gap may be due to differing tastes or information about the
nature of economics. As evidence, we find that women who were considering majoring in
economics when they began introductory economics were about as likely to choose economics
as were men.

Year of Publication
1995
Number
348
Date Published
10/1995
Publication Language
eng
Citation Key
The Journal of Economic Education, Vol. 28, No. 4, Fall, 1997
Dynan, K., & Rouse, C. (1995). The Underrepresentation of Women in Economics: A Study of Undergraduate Economics Students. Retrieved from http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp01p2676v532 (Original work published 10/1995AD)
Working Papers
Abstract

In the 1970s, the American Economic Association (AEA) was one of several professional associations to launch a summer program with the goal of increasing racial and ethnic diversity in its profession. In this paper we estimate the effectiveness of the AEA’s program which, to the best of our knowledge, is the first to rigorously study such a summer program. Using a comparison group consisting of those who applied to, but did not attend, the program and controlling for an array of background characteristics, we find that program participants were over 40 percentage points more likely to apply to and attend a PhD program in economics, 26 percentage points more likely to complete a PhD,and about 15 percentage points more likely to ever work in an economics-related academic job. Using our estimates, we calculate that the program may directly account for 17-21 percent of the PhDs awarded to minorities in economics over the past 20 years.

Year of Publication
2014
Number
581
Date Published
08/2014
Publication Language
eng
Citation Key
9076
Rouse, C., Becker, C., & Chen, M. (2014). Can a Summer Make a Difference? The Impact of the American Economic Association Summer Program on Minority Student Outcomes. Retrieved from http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp01b5644r75d (Original work published 08/2014AD)
Working Papers
Author
Abstract

In this paper I review the existing evaluations of the effect of the Milwaukee Parental Choice
Program on student achievement. Two of the three existing papers report significant gains in math for the
choice students and two of the three studies report no significant effects in reading. I also extend the analysis
to compare the achievement of students in the choice schools to students in three different types of public
schools: regular attendance area schools, city-wide (or magnet) schools, and attendance area schools with
small class sizes and supplemental funding from the state of Wisconsin (“P-5” schools). The results suggest
that students in P-5 schools have similar math test score gains to those in the choice schools, and students
in the P-5 schools outperform students in the choice schools in reading. In contrast, students in the city-wide
schools score no differently than students in the regular attendance area schools in both math and reading.
Given that the pupil-teacher ratios in the P-5 and choice schools are significantly smaller than those in the
other public schools, one potential explanation for these results is that students perform well in schools with
smaller class sizes.

Year of Publication
1998
Number
396
Date Published
01/1998
Publication Language
eng
Citation Key
The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 113, No. 2, May, 1998
Rouse, C. (1998). Schools and Student Achievement: More Evidence From the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program. Retrieved from http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp0141687h45w (Original work published 01/1998AD)
Working Papers
Abstract

The economics profession includes disproportionately few women and members of historically
underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups, relative both to the overall population and to
other academic disciplines. The relative lack of women, African Americans, Hispanics, and
Native Americans within economics is present at the undergraduate level, continues throughout
the academy, and is barely improving over time. In this paper, we present data on the presence
of women and minority groups in the profession and offer an overview of current research on the
reasons for the imbalance, highlighting that implicit attitudes and institutional practices may be
contributing at all stages of the pipeline. We review evidence on how diversity affects
productivity and conclude that the underrepresentation likely hampers the discipline,
constraining the range of issues addressed and limiting our collective ability to understand
familiar issues from new and innovative perspectives. Broadening the pool from which
professional economists are drawn is not just about fairness; it is necessary to ensure the
profession produces robust and relevant knowledge. We propose remedial interventions along
with evidence on effectiveness, identifying several promising practices, programs, and areas for
future research.

Year of Publication
2016
Number
597
Date Published
07/2016
Publication Language
eng
Citation Key
9451
Rouse, C., & Bayer, A. (2016). Diversity in the Economics Profession: A New Attack on an Old Problem. Retrieved from http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp01bc386m66h (Original work published 07/2016AD)
Working Papers
Abstract

This paper presents an analysis of the impact of a workplace education program that
was administered by a community college at two companies. One of the companies we study
is in the manufacturing sector and the other is in the service sector. The analysis relies on
longitudinal administrative data and cross-sectional survey data. We examine a broad range
of outcome variables, including workers’ earnings, performance awards, job attendance, and
subjective performance measures. Our main finding is that the program had a small, positive
impact on earnings at the manufacturing company, but an insignificant impact at the service
company. We also find that the training program had a positive association with the
incidence of job bids, upgrades, performance awards, and job attendance. At the
manufacturing company, occupational courses, such as blue print reading, had the largest
impact.

Year of Publication
1994
Number
329
Date Published
05/1994
Publication Language
eng
Citation Key
Journal of Labor Economics, Vol. 16, No. 1, 1998
Krueger, A., & Rouse, C. (1994). New Evidence on Workplace Education. Retrieved from http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp0112579s25n (Original work published 05/1994AD)
Working Papers
Abstract

In this paper we take a “market-based” approach to examine whether increased school expenditures
are valued by potential residents and whether the current level of public school provision is inefficient. We
do so by employing an instrumental variables strategy to estimate the effect of state education aid on
residential property values. We find evidence that, on average, additional state aid is valued by potential
residents and that school districts appear to spend efficiently or, if anything, underspend. We also find that
school districts spend less efficiently in areas in which they face little or no competition from other public
schools, in large districts, and in areas in which residents are poor or less educated. One interpretation of
these results is that increased competition has the potential to increase school efficiency in some areas.

Year of Publication
2000
Number
438
Date Published
04/2000
Publication Language
eng
Citation Key
Journal of Public Economics, volume 88 (2004) pp.1747-1769
Barrow, L., & Rouse, C. (2000). Using Market Valuation to Assess the Importance and Efficiency of Public School Spending. Retrieved from http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp0102870v85m (Original work published 04/2000AD)
Working Papers
Abstract

In this paper we set out a simple model of optimal schooling investments that
emphasizes the interaction between schooling choices and income determination; and
estimate it using a fresh sample of data on over 700 identical twins. According to the model,
equally able individuals from the same family should attain the same observed schooling
levels, apart from random errors of optimization or measurement. A variety of direct and
indirect tests provides no evidence against this hypothesis.
We estimate an average return to schooling of 10% for genetically identical
individuals, but estimated returns are slightly higher for less able individuals. Unlike the
results in Ashenfelter and Krueger (1994), which were based on a much smaller sample, we
estimate that schooling is positively correlated with ability level, so that simple cross-section
estimates are slightly upward biased. Taken together these empirical results imply that
more able individuals attain more schooling because they face lower marginal costs of
schooling, not because they obtain higher marginal benefits. The results stand in sharp
contrast to recent claims that genetic factors predetermine education and income, and that
such differences are not amenable to alteration by public or private choices.

Year of Publication
1996
Number
365
Date Published
07/1996
Publication Language
eng
Citation Key
The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 113, No. 1, February, 1998
Ashenfelter, O., & Rouse, C. (1996). Income, Schooling, and Ability: Evidence from a New Sample of Twins. Retrieved from http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp01z316q158c (Original work published 07/1996AD)
Working Papers
Abstract

One of the best documented relationships in economics is the link between education and
income: higher educated people have higher incomes. Advocates argue that education provides
skills, or human capital, that raises an individual‘s productivity. Critics argue that the documented
relationship is not causal. Education does not generate higher incomes; instead, individuals with
higher ability receive more education and more income. This essay reviews the evidence on the
relationship between education and income. We focus on recent studies that have attempted to
determine the casual effect of education on income by either comparing income and education
differences within families or using exogenous determinants of schooling in what are sometimes
called “natural experiments.” In addition, we assess the potential for education to reduce income
disparities by presenting evidence on the return to education for people of differing family
backgrounds and measured ability.
The results of all these studies are surprisingly consistent: they indicate that the return to
schooling is not caused by an omitted correlation between ability and schooling. Moreover, we find
no evidence that the return to schooling differs significantly by family background or by the
measured ability of the student.

Year of Publication
1998
Number
407
Date Published
11/1998
Publication Language
eng
Citation Key
The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 115, No. 3, Aug.ust 2000
Ashenfelter, O., & Rouse, C. (1998). Schooling, Intelligence, and Income in America: Cracks in the Bell Curve. Retrieved from http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp013r074t94j (Original work published 11/1998AD)
Working Papers
Abstract

Economists attempting to explain the widening of the black-white wage gap in the late 1970's by
differences in school quality have been faced the problem that recent data reveal virtually no gap in the
quality of schools attended by blacks and whites using a variety of measures. In this paper, we re-
examine racial differences in school quality. We begin by considering the effects of using the pupil-
teacher ratio, rather than the school's average class size, in an education production function since the
pupil-teacher ratio is a rough proxy, at best. Second, we consider the importance of using actual class
size rather than school-level measures of class size.
We find that while the pupil-teacher ratio and average class size are correlated, the pupil-teacher
ratio is systematically less than or equal to the average class size. Mathematically, part of the difference
is due to the intraschool allocation of teachers to classes. As a result, while the pupil-teacher ratio
suggests no black-white differences in class size, measures of the school's average class size suggest that
blacks are in larger classes. Further, the two measures result in differing estimates of the importance of
class size in an education production function. We also conclude that school level measures may obscure
important within-school variation in class size due to the small class sizes for compensatory education.
Since black students are more likely to be assigned to compensatory education classes, a kind of
aggregation bias results. We find that not only are blacks in schools with larger average class sizes, but
they are also in larger classes within schools, conditional on class type. The intraschool class size patterns
suggest that using within-school variation in education production functions is not a perfect solution to
aggregation problems because of non-random assignment of students to classes of differing sizes.
However, once the selection problem has been addressed, it appears that smaller classes at the eighth
grade lead to larger test score gains from eighth to tenth grade and that differences in class size can
explain approximately 15 percent of the black-white difference in educational achievement.

Year of Publication
1995
Number
344
Date Published
06/1995
Publication Language
eng
Citation Key
Journal of Urban Economics, Volume 50, 2001
Boozer, M., & Rouse, C. (1995). Intraschool Variation in Class Size: Patterns and Implications. Retrieved from http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp01x059c733k (Original work published 06/1995AD)
Working Papers