Graduation Year

2015

Date of Submission

4-2015

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Economics

Reader 1

Serkan Ozbeklik

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2015 Sara Mostatabi

Abstract

In this paper, I use data from the United States Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences database and data compiled from the Internal Revenue Service to investigate how income inequality impacts the academic achievement of students. More specifically, I examine whether or not high levels of income inequality adversely impact the test scores of students in grades 4 and 8. I find a significant and negative relationship between income inequality, when measured as the share of income held by the top 10 percent, and the mathematics test scores of students in fourth and eighth grade. This is consistent with previous literature. Conversely, when examining this relationship using other measures of income inequality, such as the Gini Coefficient, results are inconclusive. Overall, my results suggest that students who reside in states with higher levels of income inequality also experience lower levels of academic achievement.

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