IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/tpr/edfpol/v13y2018i2p119-148.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Effect of Career and Technical Education on Human Capital Accumulation: Causal Evidence from Massachusetts

Author

Listed:
  • Shaun M. Dougherty

    (Department of Public Policy Neag of School of Education University of Connecticut Storrs, CT 06269 Author email: shaun.dougherty@uconn.edu)

Abstract

Earlier work demonstrates that career and technical education (CTE) can provide long-term financial benefits to participants, yet few have explored potential academic impacts, with none in the era of high-stakes accountability. This paper investigates the causal impact of participating in a specialized high school-based CTE delivery system on high school persistence, completion, earning professional certifications, and standardized test scores, with a focus on individuals from low-income families, a group that is overrepresented in CTE and high school noncompleters. Using administrative data from Massachusetts, I combine ordinary least squares with a regression discontinuity design that capitalizes on admissions data at three schools that are oversubscribed. All estimates suggest that participation in a high-quality CTE program boosts the probability of on-time graduation from high school by 7 to 10 percentage points for higher income students, and suggestively larger effects for their lower-income peers and students on the margin of being admitted to oversubscribed schools. This work informs an understanding of the potential impact of specific CTE program participation on the accumulation of human capital even in a high-stakes policy environment. This evidence of a productive CTE model in Massachusetts may inform the current policy dialog related to improving career pathways and readiness.

Suggested Citation

  • Shaun M. Dougherty, 2018. "The Effect of Career and Technical Education on Human Capital Accumulation: Causal Evidence from Massachusetts," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 13(2), pages 119-148, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:edfpol:v:13:y:2018:i:2:p:119-148
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/edfp_a_00224
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett & John H. Tyler, 2000. "Who Benefits from Obtaining a GED? Evidence from High School and Beyond," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(1), pages 23-37, February.
    2. Joshua D. Angrist & Parag A. Pathak & Christopher R. Walters, 2013. "Explaining Charter School Effectiveness," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 1-27, October.
    3. Richard J. Murnane, 2013. "U.S. High School Graduation Rates: Patterns and Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(2), pages 370-422, June.
    4. John H. Tyler & Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett, 2000. "Estimating the Labor Market Signaling Value of the GED," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 431-468.
    5. Meer, Jonathan, 2007. "Evidence on the returns to secondary vocational education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 559-573, October.
    6. Gary S. Becker, 1962. "Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis," NBER Chapters, in: Investment in Human Beings, pages 9-49, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Imbens, Guido W. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2008. "Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 615-635, February.
    8. Bishop, John H. & Mane, Ferran, 2004. "The impacts of career-technical education on high school labor market success," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 381-402, August.
    9. Eric A. Hanushek & Guido Schwerdt & Ludger Woessmann & Lei Zhang, 2017. "General Education, Vocational Education, and Labor-Market Outcomes over the Lifecycle," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 52(1), pages 48-87.
    10. David J. Deming, 2011. "Better Schools, Less Crime?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 2063-2115.
    11. Neumark, David & Rothstein, Donna, 2006. "School-to-career programs and transitions to employment and higher education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 374-393, August.
    12. Sebastian Calonico & Matias D. Cattaneo & Rocio Titiunik, 2014. "Robust Nonparametric Confidence Intervals for Regression‐Discontinuity Designs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82, pages 2295-2326, November.
    13. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
    14. Ann Huff Stevens & Michal Kurlaender & Michel Grosz, 2019. "Career Technical Education and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from California Community Colleges," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 54(4), pages 986-1036.
    15. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "An Evaluation of Instrumental Variable Strategies for Estimating the Effects of Catholic Schooling," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(4), pages 791-821.
    16. Howard S. Bloom & Rebecca Unterman, 2014. "Can Small High Schools of Choice Improve Educational Prospects for Disadvantaged Students?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 33(2), pages 290-319, March.
    17. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    18. Guido W. Imbens & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2009. "Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(1), pages 5-86, March.
    19. Lee, David S. & Card, David, 2008. "Regression discontinuity inference with specification error," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 655-674, February.
    20. Busemeyer, Marius R. & Cattaneo, Maria Alejandra & Wolter, Stefan C., 2010. "Individual policy preferences for vocational versus academic education micro level evidence for the case of Switzerland," MPIfG Discussion Paper 10/11, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    21. Will Dobbie & Roland G. Fryer Jr., 2013. "Getting beneath the Veil of Effective Schools: Evidence from New York City," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 28-60, October.
    22. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2006. "The Polarization of the U.S. Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 189-194, May.
    23. Guido Imbens & Karthik Kalyanaraman, 2012. "Optimal Bandwidth Choice for the Regression Discontinuity Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(3), pages 933-959.
    24. David Neumark & Mary Joyce, 2001. "Evaluating School-to-Work Programs Using the New NLSY," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(4), pages 666-702.
    25. Mane, Ferran, 1999. "Trends in the payoff to academic and occupation-specific skills: the short and medium run returns to academic and vocational high school courses for non-college-bound students," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 417-437, October.
    26. repec:mpr:mprres:5949 is not listed on IDEAS
    27. Edward P. Lazear, 2009. "Firm-Specific Human Capital: A Skill-Weights Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(5), pages 914-940, October.
    28. Stock, James H & Wright, Jonathan H & Yogo, Motohiro, 2002. "A Survey of Weak Instruments and Weak Identification in Generalized Method of Moments," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(4), pages 518-529, October.
    29. Iacus, Stefano M. & King, Gary & Porro, Giuseppe, 2012. "Causal Inference without Balance Checking: Coarsened Exact Matching," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(1), pages 1-24, January.
    30. Julie Berry Cullen & Steven D. Levitt & Erin Robertson & Sally Sadoff, 2013. "What Can Be Done to Improve Struggling High Schools?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 133-152, Spring.
    31. David J. Deming & Justine S. Hastings & Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2014. "School Choice, School Quality, and Postsecondary Attainment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(3), pages 991-1013, March.
    32. Damon Clark & Paco Martorell, 2014. "The Signaling Value of a High School Diploma," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(2), pages 282-318.
    33. Ofer Malamud & Cristian Pop-Eleches, 2010. "General Education versus Vocational Training: Evidence from an Economy in Transition," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 43-60, February.
    34. Debra Donahoe & Marta Tienda, 1999. "Human Asset Development and the Transition from School to Work: Policy Lessons for the 21st Century," Working Papers 322, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Office of Population Research..
    35. Michael Spence, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-374.
    36. John Bishop & Ferran Mane, 2005. "Raising academic standards and vocational concentrators: Are they better off or worse off?," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(2), pages 171-187.
    37. repec:sip:wpaper:11-003 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Machin, Stephen & McNally, Sandra & Terrier, Camille & Ventura, Guglielmo, 2020. "Closing the Gap between Vocational and General Education? Evidence from University Technical Colleges in England," IZA Discussion Papers 13837, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Bonilla, Sade, 2020. "The dropout effects of career pathways: Evidence from California," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 75(C).
    3. Eric J. Brunner & Shaun Dougherty & Stephen L. Ross, 2019. "The Effects of Career and Technical Education: Evidence from the Connecticut Technical High School System," Working papers 2019-13, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    4. Neyt, Brecht & Verhaest, Dieter & Baert, Stijn, 2020. "The impact of dual apprenticeship programmes on early labour market outcomes: A dynamic approach," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 78(C).
    5. Daniel Kreisman & Kevin Stange, 2020. "Vocational and Career Tech Education in American High Schools: The Value of Depth Over Breadth," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 15(1), pages 11-44, Winter.
    6. Cowan, James & Goldhaber, Dan & Holzer, Harry J. & Naito, Natsumi & Xu, Zeyu, 2020. "Career and Technical Education in High School and Postsecondary Career Pathways in Washington State," IZA Discussion Papers 13817, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Silliman, Mikko & Virtanen, Hanna, 2019. "Labor Market Returns to Vocational Secondary Education," ETLA Working Papers 65, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    8. repec:cep:cverdp:031 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Hemelt, Steven W. & Lenard, Matthew A. & Paeplow, Colleen G., 2019. "Building bridges to life after high school: Contemporary career academies and student outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 161-178.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Celeste K. Carruthers & Christopher Jepsen, 2020. "Vocational Education: An International Perspective," CESifo Working Paper Series 8718, CESifo.
    2. Bonilla, Sade, 2020. "The dropout effects of career pathways: Evidence from California," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 75(C).
    3. Feng, Andy & Graetz, Georg, 2017. "A question of degree: The effects of degree class on labor market outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 140-161.
    4. Daniel Kreisman & Kevin Stange, 2020. "Vocational and Career Tech Education in American High Schools: The Value of Depth Over Breadth," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 15(1), pages 11-44, Winter.
    5. Huzeyfe Torun & Semih Tumen, 2019. "Do vocational high school graduates have better employment outcomes than general high school graduates?," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 40(8), pages 1364-1388, November.
    6. Hemelt, Steven W. & Lenard, Matthew A. & Paeplow, Colleen G., 2019. "Building bridges to life after high school: Contemporary career academies and student outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 161-178.
    7. Xu, Ke-Li, 2017. "Regression discontinuity with categorical outcomes," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 201(1), pages 1-18.
    8. Paul Gaggl & Greg C. Wright, 2017. "A Short-Run View of What Computers Do: Evidence from a UK Tax Incentive," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 262-294, July.
    9. Figlio, D. & Karbownik, K. & Salvanes, K.G., 2016. "Education Research and Administrative Data," Handbook of the Economics of Education,, Elsevier.
    10. Kalena E. Cortes & Joshua S. Goodman & Takako Nomi, 2015. "Intensive Math Instruction and Educational Attainment: Long-Run Impacts of Double-Dose Algebra," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(1), pages 108-158.
    11. Eichhorst, Werner & Rodríguez-Planas, Núria & Schmidl, Ricarda & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2012. "A Roadmap to Vocational Education and Training Systems Around the World," IZA Discussion Papers 7110, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Verhaest, Dieter & Baert, Stijn, 2015. "The Early Labour Market Effects of Generally and Vocationally Oriented Higher Education: Is There a Trade-off?," IZA Discussion Papers 9137, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Dieter Verhaest & Stijn Baert, 2018. "The effects of workplace learning in higher education on employment and match quality: is there an early-career trade-off?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 55(3), pages 1229-1270, November.
    14. Eric Brunner & Shaun Dougherty & Stephen Ross, 2019. "The Effects of Career and Technical Education: Evidence from the Connecticut Technical High School System," Working Papers 2019-047, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    15. repec:hrv:hksfac:34298862 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Khoo, Pauline & Ost, Ben, 2018. "The effect of graduating with honors on earnings," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 149-162.
    17. Wu, Jia & Wei, Xiangdong & Zhang, Hongliang & Zhou, Xiang, 2019. "Elite schools, magnet classes, and academic performances: Regression-discontinuity evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 143-167.
    18. Song, Yang, 2019. "Sorting, school performance and quality: Evidence from China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 238-261.
    19. Nicole Bosch & Bas ter Weel, 2013. "Labour-market outcomes of older workers in the Netherlands: Measuring job prospects using the occupational age structure," CPB Discussion Paper 234.rdf, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    20. Eduardo Fé & Bruce Hollingsworth, 2016. "Short- and long-run estimates of the local effects of retirement on health," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 179(4), pages 1051-1067, October.
    21. Christelis, Dimitris & Georgarakos, Dimitris & Sanz-de-Galdeano, Anna, 2020. "The impact of health insurance on stockholding: A regression discontinuity approach," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(C).

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tpr:edfpol:v:13:y:2018:i:2:p:119-148. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://www.mitpressjournals.org/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Ann Olson (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://www.mitpressjournals.org/ .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.