2040 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208-4100
BiographyClaudia Persico is a doctoral candidate in Human Development and Social Policy. Her research interests include education inequality and policy, early childhood education, causes of low performance among low income children, and socioeconomic disparities in health. Prior to attending Northwestern University, Claudia worked as a research assistant studying the neurobiology of autism in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the Boston University School of Medicine. Claudia has also worked at several nonprofits, including The Autism Research Foundation and Strive Tutoring.
Awards/Honors2015 - Dissertation Year Fellowship
2014 - Society, Biology and Health Fellowship
2013 - Institute for Policy Research Graduate Fellowship
|2014||MA, Human Dev & Social Pol||Northwestern University|
|2009||MA, Philosophy of Religion||University of Chicago|
|2004||BA, Biology||Boston University|
|2012||A Population-level Study of the Effects of Early Intervention for Autism|
Selected PublicationsJackson, C. Kirabo, Rucker Johnson, and Claudia Persico (Working Paper/In Press/Under Review). The Effects of School Spending on Educational and Economic Outcomes: Evidence from School Finance Reforms. Quarterly Journal of Economics.
Jackson, C. Kirabo, Johnson, Rucker, and Persico, Claudia (September, 2015). Boosting Educational Attainment and Adult Earnings: Does School Spending Matter After All?. Education Next, Vol 15, No 4.
Selected PresentationsPersico, C., Figlio, D., and Roth, J. (2015). Inequality Before Birth: The Developmental Consequences of Environmental Toxicants. AEFP presentation. Washington, D.C..
Currie, J., Figlio, D., Goodman, J. Persico, C., Roth, J. (November, 2013). A Population-level Study of the Effects of Early Intervention for Autism. Presentations at APPAM and AEFP. Washington, D.C..
Works In Progress
The Effect of School Finance Reforms on the Distribution of Spending, Academic Achievement, and Adult Outcomes
The school finance reforms (SFRs) that began in the early 1970s and accelerated in the 1980s caused some of the most dramatic changes in the structure of K–12 education spending in U.S. history. We analyze the effects of these reforms on the level and distribution of school district spending, as well as their effects on subsequent educational and economic outcomes.
The Effects of School Spending on Educational and Economic Outcomes: Evidence from School Finance Reforms
Since Coleman (1966), many have questioned whether school spending affects student outcomes. The school finance reforms that began in the early 1970s and accelerated in the 1980s caused some of the most dramatic changes in the structure of K–12 education spending in US history. To study the effect of these school-finance-reform-induced changes in school spending on long-run adult outcomes, we link school spending and school finance reform data to detailed, nationally-representative data on children born between 1955 and 1985 and followed through 2011. We use the timing of the passage of court-mandated reforms, and their associated type of funding formula change, as an exogenous shifter of school spending and we compare the adult outcomes of cohorts that were differentially exposed to school finance reforms, depending on place and year of birth. Event-study and instrumental variable models reveal that a 10 percent increase in per-pupil spending each year for all twelve years of public school leads to 0.27 more completed years of education, 7.25 percent higher wages, and a 3.67 percentage-point reduction in the annual incidence of adult poverty; effects are much more pronounced for children from low-income families. Exogenous spending increases were associated with sizable improvements in measured school quality, including reductions in student-to-teacher ratios, increases in teacher salaries, and longer school years.
Inequality Before Birth: The Developmental Consequences of Environmental Toxicants
Millions of tons of hazardous wastes have been produced in the United States in the last 60 years which have been dispersed into the air, into water, and on and under the ground. Using new population-level data that follows cohorts of children born in the state of Florida between 1994 and 2002, this paper examines the short and long term effects of prenatal exposure to environmental toxicants on children living within two miles of a Superfund site. We compare siblings living within two miles from a Superfund site at birth where at least one sibling was conceived before or during cleanup of the site, and the other(s) was conceived after the site cleanup was completed using a family fixed effects model. Children conceived to mothers living within 2 miles of a Superfund site before it was cleaned are more likely to repeat a grade, have lower test scores, and be suspended from school than their siblings who were conceived after the site was cleaned. Children conceived to mothers living within one mile of a Superfund site before it was cleaned are more likely to be diagnosed with a learning disability than their later born siblings as well. However, no significant effects on any birth outcomes were observed. This study suggests that Superfund cleanup has significant positive effects on a variety of long term cognitive and developmental outcomes for children.
Last Updated: 2015-08-26 20:28:12