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Cathleen M. McHugh,

Please note: Cathleen has left the "Economics" group at Duke University; some info here might not be up to date.

Contact Info:
Office Location:  308A Social Sciences
Email Address: send me a message
Web Page:


PhD EconomicsDuke University2005
BS Applied Math, EconomicsUniversity of Idaho1995

Research Interests: Effects of schools competition on student outcomes

Current projects: Effects of school competition on disadvantaged students, meta-analysis of effects of school competition

My dissertation consists of two related papers that address different aspects of how increased public school district choice affects academic outcomes. In the first paper, I test the sensitivity of Caroline Hoxby's 2000 findings of a positive link between increased choice and student test scores. I find that her results are extremely sensitive to her specification of an instrument for choice. In the second paper, I examine how increased school choice affects the relative achievement of disadvantaged students. I find that increasing choice has positive , albeit small, effects on the income test score gap.

Areas of Interest:

Economics of Education
History of Economic Thought


Economics of Education • Applied Microeconomics

Curriculum Vitae
Working Papers

  1. C.M. McHugh, The Effect of School Competition on Disadvantaged Students (November, 2004) [pdf]
  2. C.M. McHugh, Does Competition Among Public Schools Benefit Students and Taxpayers: Comment (November 2003) [pdf]

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