Event Title

The Effects of Background Factors on AFQT Scores

Graduation Year

2014

Location

Room E104, Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Start Date

12-4-2014 10:00 AM

End Date

12-4-2014 11:00 AM

Description

The introduction of the National Longitudinal Survey of the Youth (NLSY) 1979 and 1997 cohorts made Armed Forces Qualifications Test (AFQT) score data widely available and has thus dramatically increased its use in academic research. Resultantly, there has been much debate regarding what factors most affect AFQT scores. The most common understanding of AFQT is that it is a measure of human capital skills, and that this is what the AFQT is a suitable proxy for. However, there is evidence to suggest that many background factors, e.g. race, sex, family socioeconomic status—have both direct and indirect effects on AFQT scores. For example, growing up in poverty can directly affect AFQT scores by limiting educational resources in the home, but childhood poverty can also have an indirect effect on AFQT scores because school quality tends to suffer in impoverished neighborhoods, which in turn affects AFQT scores. The purpose of my research is to measure some of the important direct and indirect pathways through which background factors affect AFQT scores. This research, then, can elucidate what the AFQT is a suitable proxy for by examining these pathways.

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Apr 12th, 10:00 AM Apr 12th, 11:00 AM

The Effects of Background Factors on AFQT Scores

Room E104, Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

The introduction of the National Longitudinal Survey of the Youth (NLSY) 1979 and 1997 cohorts made Armed Forces Qualifications Test (AFQT) score data widely available and has thus dramatically increased its use in academic research. Resultantly, there has been much debate regarding what factors most affect AFQT scores. The most common understanding of AFQT is that it is a measure of human capital skills, and that this is what the AFQT is a suitable proxy for. However, there is evidence to suggest that many background factors, e.g. race, sex, family socioeconomic status—have both direct and indirect effects on AFQT scores. For example, growing up in poverty can directly affect AFQT scores by limiting educational resources in the home, but childhood poverty can also have an indirect effect on AFQT scores because school quality tends to suffer in impoverished neighborhoods, which in turn affects AFQT scores. The purpose of my research is to measure some of the important direct and indirect pathways through which background factors affect AFQT scores. This research, then, can elucidate what the AFQT is a suitable proxy for by examining these pathways.