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The Impact of Repealing Sunday Closing Laws on Educational Attainment

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  • Dara N. Lee

Abstract

Adolescents face daily tradeoffs between human capital investment, labor, and leisure. This paper exploits state variation in the repeal of Sunday closing laws to examine the impact of a distinct and plausibly exogenous rise in the quantity of competing diversions available to youth on their educational attainment. The results suggest that the repeals led to a significant decline in both years of education and the probability of high school completion. I explore increased employment and risky behaviors as potential mechanisms. Further, I find a corresponding decline of the repeals on adult wages.

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File URL: http://jhr.uwpress.org/cgi/reprint/48/2/286
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 48 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 286-310

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:48:y:2013:ii:1:p:286-310

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  1. Heckman, James J. & LaFontaine, Paul A., 2007. "The American High School Graduation Rate: Trends and Levels," IZA Discussion Papers 3216, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Kelly Bedard & Elizabeth Dhuey, 2006. "The Persistence of Early Childhood Maturity: International Evidence of Long-Run Age Effects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1437-1472, November.
  3. Jenkins, Stephen P. & Osberg, Lars, 2003. "Nobody to play with? The implications of leisure coordination," ISER Working Paper Series 2003-19, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  4. Sarah Brown & Karl Taylor, 2003. "Religion and Education: Evidence from the National Child Development Study," Discussion Papers in Economics 03/16, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  5. Pinka Chatterji, 2006. "Illicit drug use and educational attainment," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(5), pages 489-511.
  6. Ruhm, Christopher J, 1997. "Is High School Employment Consumption or Investment?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(4), pages 735-76, October.
  7. Elizabeth U. Cascio, 2009. "Do Investments in Universal Early Education Pay Off? Long-term Effects of Introducing Kindergartens into Public Schools," NBER Working Papers 14951, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Jonathan Gruber & Daniel M. Hungerman, 2006. "The Church vs the Mall: What Happens When Religion Faces Increased Secular Competition?," NBER Working Papers 12410, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Lahav, Eyal & Benzion, Uri & Shavit, Tal, 2010. "Subjective time discount rates among teenagers and adults: Evidence from Israel," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 458-465, August.
  10. Gerald S. Oettinger, 1999. "Does high school employment affect high school academic performance?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(1), pages 136-151, October.
  11. Alan Gerber & Jonathan Gruber & Daniel M. Hungerman, 2008. "Does Church Attendance Cause People to Vote? Using Blue Laws' Repeal to Estimate the Effect of Religiosity on Voter Turnout," NBER Working Papers 14303, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Cook, Philip J. & Moore, Michael J., 1993. "Drinking and schooling," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 411-429, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Daniel M. Hungerman, 2011. "Substitution and Stigma: Evidence on Religious Competition from the Catholic Sex-Abuse Scandal," NBER Working Papers 17589, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Cohen-Zada, Danny & Sander, William, 2010. "Religious Participation versus Shopping: What Makes People Happier?," IZA Discussion Papers 5198, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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