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News & Events

Marketing Professor, Karsten Hansen, Honored for Best Article

9/1/2005 - Karsten Hansen, Kellogg School Assistant Professor of Marketing, recently won the 2003-2004 Dennis J. Aigner Award for his paper “The Effect of Schooling and Ability on Achievement Test Scores” in the Journal of Econometrics . An independent committee consisting of four to five fellows from the journal chooses the best article on applied econometrics that has appeared in the publication over a two-year span. Hansen's paper ran in the July-August 2004 issue.

Hansen and his co-authors James Heckman of the University of Chicago and Kathleen Mullen of Harvard University spent two years conducting their research, which resulted in a statistical framework for analyzing whether an additional year of schooling improved scores on standardized testing. They found a positive link between the two factors, particularly for students with lower innate abilities.

Hansen notes that in addition to the policy relevance of the paper – he points to No Child Left Behind as one example of the current emphasis on measuring school performance – there are also moral dimensions to the research. “The paper taps into more philosophical aspects, because there's a group of people out there claiming that more schooling cannot improve test scores,” said Hansen.

Hansen, Heckman and Mullen will be honored at the January 2006 meeting of the American Social Science Association in Boston. They will also each receive a cash prize of $5,000.