Pantelis Solomon

Ph.D. Candidate in Economics





 Curriculum Vitae



 Contact Information

  +1(401) 859-1967









I am a PhD Candidate in Economics at Brown University. I am currently on the academic job market and will be available for interviews at the ASSA meetings in San Diego in January 2013.

Research and Teaching Fields

Economics of Education, Public Economics, Applied Microeconomics

Job Market Paper

"Do Schools Learn: Response to North Carolina¡¯s School Accountability Program"

This paper tests the predictions of a Bayesian model of learning by doing in North Carolina's school accountability program. The program aims to provide incentives for higher performance by offering monetary rewards if schools meet a specified test score target. Schools are assumed to exert effort based on their expectations of reaching the target. At the end of each year, they can observe how they performed relative to the target and draw inference on the optimal level of effort needed to reach the target. To test the model's predictions, I use test score data from grades 3 and 4 from before the program started and exploit the fact that, while schools were tested prior to the program, they were not informed of their test score performance. The schools' difference in performance before and after they receive the new information is partially consistent with learning by doing. I find that the highest gains in performance come from schools who performed poorly the year before. However, I also find that schools which passed the target the year before experience an additional gain in performance, which rejects the predictions of the learning model. This finding suggests that there may be an additional effect on incentives if schools meet the target, consistent with a decrease in the disutility of effort following a successful year. Finally, I test for the differential effect of the program across different parts of the test score distribution, and find that the schools' response benefited low achieving students the most.

Working Paper

¡°How Mean Reversion Varies with Socioeconomic Status and the Implications for School Accountability Systems¡±

Accountability programs that base their assessments on the schools' growth rates, expect all schools to be equally capable of meeting their target. However, schools of low Socioeconomic Status have been less successful in these programs than more affluent schools. Using data from North Carolina's accountability program, I find that the mean reversion pattern differs substantially between high and low poverty schools. In particular, I find that schools of low Socioeconomic Status have on average lower scores, conditional on the school's prior scores. This in turn suggests that a linear target formula will tend to overestimate the predicted scores for low Socioeconomic Status schools and underestimate that for high Socioeconomic Status schools. 




Professor Andrew D. Foster (Chair)

Department of Economics, Brown University



Professor John H. Tyler

Department of Education, Brown University


Professor Kenneth Y. Chay

Department of Economics, Brown University





November 2012