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Rural Library Service  /


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Description: Public libraries are so ubiquitous in the US, it may seem self-evident that they have some impact on education outcomes where they are located. This study researches the question of public library impacts on 4-year average cohort graduation rates. Because exogenous shocks are rare in the library industry, propensity score matching is used with a unique dataset spanning graduation years 2011-2020 including school district and student body characteristics and library data. Results suggest an average treatment on the treated effect of between 1.07% and 2.52% in remote rural school districts, are significant across model specifications, and stable across estimation strategies. These results suggest that low density places have the most at risk when considering library closure, and the most to gain in adding this kind of organization to their local educational resource mix.


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Graduation Rates & Rural Libraries Study dataset

Dataset combined from NCES and IMLS sources in .csv and Stata .dta formats. Analysis code written in Stata with .txt version for human reading.

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