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The Impact of Employment during School on College Student Academic Performance

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  • Jeffrey S. DeSimone

Abstract

This paper estimates the effect of paid employment on grades of full-time, four-year students from four nationally representative cross sections of the Harvard College Alcohol Study administered during 1993-2001. The relationship could be causal in either direction and is likely contaminated by unobserved heterogeneity. Two-stage GMM regressions instrument for work hours using paternal schooling and being raised Jewish, which are hypothesized to reflect parental preferences towards education manifested in additional student financial support but not influence achievement conditional on maternal schooling, college and class. Extensive empirical testing supports the identifying assumptions of instrument strength and orthogonality. GMM results show that an additional weekly work hour reduces current year GPA by about 0.011 points, roughly five times more than the OLS coefficient but somewhat less than recent estimates. Effects are stable across specifications, time, gender, class and age, but vary by health status, maternal schooling, religious background and especially race/ethnicity.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14006.

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Date of creation: May 2008
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14006

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Cited by:
  1. Steven Brint and Allison M. Cantwell, 2011. "ACADEMIC DISCIPLINES AND THE UNDERGRADUATE EXPERIENCE: Rethinking Bok’s “Underachieving Colleges†Thesis," University of California at Berkeley, Center for Studies in Higher Education, Center for Studies in Higher Education, UC Berkeley qt83q89897, Center for Studies in Higher Education, UC Berkeley.
  2. Regula Geel & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2010. "Earning While Learning: Labor Market Returns to Student Employment During Tertiary Education," Economics of Education Working Paper Series, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU) 0049, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
  3. Flannery, Darragh & O’Donoghue, Cathal, 2013. "The demand for higher education: A static structural approach accounting for individual heterogeneity and nesting patterns," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 243-257.
  4. Scott-Clayton, Judith, 2012. "What Explains Trends In Labor Supply Among U.S. Undergraduates?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 65(1), pages 181-210, March.

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