1205 Dissertation

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Education Policy (PhD)


Education Reform

Committee Member

Jay P. Greene

Second Committee Member

Patrick J. Wolf


Education, Achievement, College outcomes, Experiment, Merit scholarships, Non-cognitive skills, School vouchers


Cash transfers, defined as direct transfers of purchasing power from an institution or individual to another individual, are an increasingly popular policy instrument both abroad and in the United States. This dissertation investigates how two educational interventions utilizing cash transfers affect participating students. The first, the Louisiana Scholarship Program, is a statewide program offering publicly financed scholarships for low income students attending poorly performing public schools to attend K-12 private schools. The second program, the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship, is a state financed broad-based merit-aid scholarship for students in college within the state of Arkansas. In general, the results presented in this dissertation suggest that students using LSP scholarships performed significantly behind their counterparts in math and English Language Arts after one year, but did not differ substantially from student who did not receive a scholarship on measures of non-cognitive skills or political tolerance. In addition, the findings presented here suggest that currently enrolled students who barely qualified for an Academic Challenge Scholarship performed no differently after one year than students who barely missed the academic requirements, but earned significantly lower final GPAs and were less likely to graduate within four years. These differences disappeared after five years, suggesting that scholarship recipients may have delayed graduation in response to the program. These studies contribute to the literature on school vouchers and college merit-aid scholarships by providing the first experimental evaluation of a statewide voucher program on student achievement, the first descriptive evaluation of a voucher program on student non-cognitive skills and political tolerance, and the first examination of the effects of a merit-aid scholarship on students who were currently enrolled in college at the time of scholarship receipt.

Recommended Citation

Mills, Jonathan Norman, "The Effectiveness of Cash Transfers as a Policy Instrument in K-16 Education" (2015). Theses and Dissertations. 1205.

Title: PhD Thesis - Topics in SUSY Phenomenology at the LHC

Authors:Roger H. K. Kadala

(Submitted on 7 May 2012)

Abstract: This dissertation focuses on phenomenological studies for possible signals for supersymmetric events at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). We have divided our endeavours into three separate projects. First, we consider SUSY models where the gluino production at the LHC should be rich in top and bottom quark jets. Requiring $b$-jets in addition to missing energy $\eslt$ should, therefore, enhance the supersymmetry signal relative to Standard Model backgrounds. We quantify the increase in the supersymmetry reach of the LHC from $b$-tagging in a variety of well-motivated models of supersymmetry. We also explore $top$-tagging at the LHC. Second, we explore the prospects for detecting the direct production of third generation squarks in models with an inverted squark mass hierarchy. This is signalled by $b$-jets + $\eslt$ events harder than in the Standard Model, but softer than those from the production of gluinos and heavier squarks. We find that these events can be readily separated from SM background (for third generation squark masses in the 200-400 GeV range), and the contamination from the much heavier gluinos and squarks although formidable can effectively be suppressed. Third, we attempt to extract model-independent information about neutralino properties from LHC data. assuming only the particle content of the MSSM and that all two-body neutralino decays are kinematically suppressed, with the neutralino inclusive production yielding a sufficient cross section. We show that the Lorentz invariant dilepton mass distribution encodes clear information about the relative sign of the mass eigenvalues of the parent and daughter neutralinos. We show that we can extract most neutralino mass matrix parameters if there is a double mass edge.

Submission history

From: Roger Kadala [view email]
[v1] Mon, 7 May 2012 02:12:24 GMT (1204kb,D)

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