Diane Schanzenbach Wins Vernon Prize for Excellent Research

Diane Schanzenbach Wins Vernon Prize for Excellent Research

Diane Schanzenbach

Associate professor Diane Schanzenbach is a winner of the 2013 Raymond Vernon Memorial Award, presented by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management to recognize excellent research. An article she co-authored about the impact of small class size on postsecondary attainment won the award for the best paper published in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management last year.

Schanzenbach wrote "Experimental Evidence on the Effect of Childhood Investments on Postsecondary Degree Attainment and Degree Completion" with Susan Dynarski and Joshua Hyman of the University of Michigan. Their research used the random assignment in the Project STAR experiment in Tennessee to estimate the effect of smaller elementary school classes on college entry, college choice and degree completion.

The researchers found that assignment to a small class increases the probability of attending college by 2.7 percentage points, with larger effects among blacks and students in high-poverty schools. Smaller classes also increase the likelihood of earning a college degree and shift students towards high-earning fields, the authors note.

Since 1985, the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management has awarded the Vernon Prize in honor of Raymond Vernon, founding editor of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management (JPAM). APPAM is an organization dedicated to improving public policy and management by fostering excellence in research, analysis, and education through its conference, the JPAM journal, awards and other activities. The journal's editors oversee the selection process for the Vernon Award, appointing a selection committee of three people. 

An associate professor in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University, Schanzenbach is a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. She studies education policy, child health, and food consumption. Her most recent work investigates the impact of school accountability policies and school reform policies on student performance and other outcomes. In addition, she has investigated the impact of classroom composition and class size on student outcomes. Schanzenbach holds a PhD in economics from Princeton University.

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 10/16/13