Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Discussion Paper Series in Economics,
Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics

No 24/2015: Education Research and Administrative Data.

David Figlio (), Krzysztof Karbownik () and Kjell G. Salvanes ()
Additional contact information
David Figlio: Northwestern University, Postal: 2040 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208,
Krzysztof Karbownik: Northwestern University, Postal: 2040 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208,
Kjell G. Salvanes: Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, Postal: NHH , Department of Economics, Helleveien 30, N-5045 Bergen, Norway

Abstract: Thanks to extraordinary and exponential improvements in data storage and computing capacities, it is now possible to collect, manage, and analyze data in magnitudes and in manners that would have been inconceivable just a short time ago. As the world has developed this remarkable capacity to store and analyze data, so have the world’s governments developed large-scale, comprehensive data files on tax programs, workforce information, benefit programs, health, and education. While these data are collected for purely administrative purposes, they represent remarkable new opportunities for expanding our knowledge. This chapter describes some of the benefits and challenges associated With the use of administrative data in education research. We also offer specific case studies of data that have been developed in both the Nordic countries and the United States, and offer an (incomplete) inventory of data sets used by social scientists to study education questions on every inhabited continent on earth.

Keywords: Education Research; administrative data.

JEL-codes: I20

84 pages, October 12, 2015

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