Scott-Clayton is an active participant in policy working groups at the state and federal level, and has contributed to the New York Times’ Economix blog, where she focuses on current topics in education.
“What Explains Trends in Labor Supply Among U.S. Undergraduates?”National Tax Journal, vol. 65, no. 1 (March 2012), pp. 181-210. Also available as NBER Working Paper No. 17744
“The Causal Effect of Federal Work-Study Participation: Quasi-Experimental Evidence From West Virginia.” Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, vol. 33, no. 4 (December 2011), pp. 506-527
“On Money and Motivation: A Quasi-Experimental Analysis of Financial Incentives for College Achievement.” Journal of Human Resources, vol. 46 (Summer 2011), no. 3: pp. 614-646.
"The Shapeless River: Does a Lack of Structure Inhibit Students' Progress at Community Colleges?".
"Assessing Developmental Assessment in Community Colleges: A Review of the Literature". (with Katherine Hughes). Community College Review, vol. 39, no. 4 (October, 2011), pp. 327-351.
“College Grants on a Postcard: A Proposal for Simple and Predictable Student Aid”. (with Susan M. Dynarski).
“The Cost of Complexity in Federal Student Aid: Lessons from Optimal Tax Theory and Behavioral Economics”. (with Susan M. Dynarski). National Tax Journal 59:2 (June 2006), pp. 319-356.
This doctoral course covers the design, implementation and interpretation of econometric methods used for evaluating causal relationships in education research. We will read and discuss applied methodological texts as well as journal articles using advanced causal methods. We will cover randomized experiments, natural experiments, differences-in-differences, instrumental variables, regression discontinuity, and propensity score matching. Goals of the course are for students to understand the conceptual underpinnings of each type of study design; to be able to critically evaluate particular studies utilizing of each approach; to gain first-hand experience in formulating causal questions and implementing a causal method; and to develop skills in communicating research designs and findings (in both written and presentation form). Students will be expected to complete all readings and prepare answers to discussion questions in advance of each class. Students will work in teams to replicate and extend a paper using these causal methods and will present findings to the class. The course is designed for second-year PhD students in the Economics and Education program; other doctoral students and advanced masters candidates with appropriate preparation are also welcome, space permitting.
- Graduate-level statistics (at a minimum, multiple regression analysis, familiarity with concepts of statistical bias and precision)
- Microeconomics (e.g. exposure to concepts of consumer theory, producer theory, equilibrium analysis, market failure, welfare analysis, choice under uncertainty)
- Students with any questions about their preparation after the first day of class are encouraged to contact the professor for further guidance.
- To understand the conceptual underpinnings of current methods for causal inference
- To be able to read and critically evaluate papers that utilize these methods
- To gain first-hand experience formulating causal questions and implementing causal methods
- To develop skills in communicating research designs and findings in both written and oral form
- To encourage and facilitate collaborative learning and teaching between students
- Graduate-level microeconomics (e.g. concepts of consumer theory, partial equilibrium, choice under uncertainty, welfare analysis)
- Graduate-level statistics and/or econometrics (at a minimum, regression analysis, familiarity with concepts of statistical bias and precision)
- A course in causal inference is strongly recommended as a prerequisite, but not required
- To understand and be able to explain key theoretical concepts in labor economics
- To be able to read and critique papers that test these concepts empirically
- To understand the strengths and limitations of methodological tools commonly used in the field
- To apply concepts from the course to examine a research question of the student’s choosing
2005-2008 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (awarded 2003)
“Who Shouldn’t Go To College?” March 23, 2012.
“Do Big-Time Sports Mean Big-Time Support for Universities?”, January 27, 2012.
“College Is Cheaper Than You Think Students”, November 4, 2011.
“From Kindergarten to College Completion”, October 7, 2011.
“A Jobs Program in Need of Reform”, September 9, 2011.
“The Rise of the Five-Year Four-Year Degree”, May 20, 2011.
“How Worrisome Is Student Debt?”, April 15, 2011.
“The Dark Side of Choice in Higher Education”, March 25, 2011.
CNN Newsroom (Ali Velshi), May 12, 2010, "Turning Students to Graduates." http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1005/12/cnr.06.html
The New York Times Magazine (David Leonhardt), February 1, 2009, “The Big Fix” (page 8).
U.S. News and World Report (Kim Clark), October 2, 2008, “Another Plan to Simplify Financial Aid Forms.”
National Review (Kevin Hassett), April 16, 2007, “The Postcard Solution.”
The Wall Street Journal (Kevin Hassett), February 24, 2007, “Foreign Aid.”
The Chronicle of Higher Education (Josh Keller), March 2, 2007, “Scholars Urge Halt to Use of Aid Form,” http://chronicle.com/article/Scholars-Urge-Halt-to-Use-o/8084/
The Harvard Crimson (Raviv Murciano-Goroff), February 9, 2007, “Experts Plan FAFSA Reform.” http://www.thecrimson.com/printerfriendly.aspx?ref=518105
Forbes (Janet Novak), July 5, 2006. “Calculating College Costs.” http://www.forbes.com/2006/07/04/financial-aid-tuition-cz_jn_0705beltway.html
“Simplifying Student Aid: The Case for an Easier, Faster, and More Accurate FAFSA,” Executive Office of the President, September 2009, http://www.whitehouse.gov/assets/documents/FAFSA_Report.pdf
Documents & Papers
Download: CV_JScottClayton_04-24-2012_long.pdf [PDF]
Download: Hamilton paper [PDF]
Centers and Projects
The Community College Research Center (CCRC) was established in 1996 with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and is housed within the Institute on Education and the Economy (IEE). The main purpose of the CCRC is to frame critical questions concerning the fundamental purposes, problems, and performance of community colleges, and chart a course for strengthening scholarly research on the future of these important institutions.
'When we speak of the transition from school to work, we will be speaking more often of the community college,' says Professor Thomas R. Bailey, who is also Director of the Center. 'When we speak of retraining our nation's labor force, we will also be speaking more often of the community college.'
The Center has taken a broad and comprehensive view of the community college over the course of the grant, but focused primarily on the roles of
community colleges in workforce and economic development. The specific purposes of the Center are to: (1) synthesize existing research on the roles community colleges have been playing and the extent and determinants of their effectiveness within those; (2) formulate and answer new research questions on important issues confronting the community college sector; (3) begin exploration of alternative policies and directions for community colleges; (4) attract new researchers to the field and solidify a network of community college practitioners and scholars; and (5) suggest directions for data collection. The Center draws on expertise from a national advisory panel of community college practitioners, policy makers, and research scholars. The Center funds fellowships to doctoral students who are interested in writing dissertations on community college issues. The fellowship recipients work at the CCRC and participate in research projects. Reports of research findings, occasional papers, and non-technical Briefs are available through the CCRC website, or for a nominal cost.