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The Impact of Repealing Sunday Closing Laws on Educational Attainment

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Abstract

Adolescents face daily trade-offs 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 opportunities 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://economics.missouri.edu/working-papers/2011/WP1117_leedn.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Missouri in its series Working Papers with number 1117.

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Length: 38 pgs.
Date of creation: 05 Oct 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: forthcoming in the Journal of Human Resources
Handle: RePEc:umc:wpaper:1117

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Web page: http://economics.missouri.edu/
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Keywords: Wages; educational investment; youth labor supply; blue laws;

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References

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  1. Brown, Sarah & Taylor, Karl, 2007. "Religion and education: Evidence from the National Child Development Study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 439-460, July.
  2. Pinka Chatterji, 2006. "Illicit drug use and educational attainment," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(5), pages 489-511.
  3. James J. Heckman & Paul A. LaFontaine, 2007. "The American High School Graduation Rate: Trends and Levels," NBER Working Papers 13670, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Stephen P. Jenkins & Lars Osberg, 2003. "Nobody to Play with?: The Implications of Leisure Coordination," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 368, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  5. 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.
  6. Cook, Philip J. & Moore, Michael J., 1993. "Drinking and schooling," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 411-429, December.
  7. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1995. "Is High School Employment Consumption or Investment?," NBER Working Papers 5030, 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. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. 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).
  2. 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.

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