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American Economic Journal: Economic Policy: Vol. 3 No. 3 (August 2011)

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A's from Zzzz's? The Causal Effect of School Start Time on the Academic Achievement of Adolescents

Article Citation

Carrell, Scott E., Teny Maghakian, and James E. West. 2011. "A's from Zzzz's? The Causal Effect of School Start Time on the Academic Achievement of Adolescents." American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 3(3): 62-81.

DOI: 10.1257/pol.3.3.62

Abstract

Recent sleep research finds that many adolescents are sleep-deprived because of both early school start times and changing sleep patterns during the teen years. This study identifies the causal effect of school start time on academic achievement by using two policy changes in the daily schedule at the US Air Force Academy along with the randomized placement of freshman students to courses and instructors. Results show that starting the school day 50 minutes later has a significant positive effect on student achievement, which is roughly equivalent to raising teacher quality by one standard deviation. (JEL I23, J13)

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Authors

Carrell, Scott E. (U CA, Davis)
Maghakian, Teny (U CA, Davis)
West, James E. (US Air Force Academy)

JEL Classifications

I23: Higher Education and Research Institutions
J13: Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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