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The Effect of High School Courses on Earnings

Author

Listed:
  • Heather Rose

    (Public Policy Institute of California, San Diego)

  • Julian R. Betts

    (Public Policy Institute of California, University of California, San Diego)

Abstract

We estimate the effect that six types of high school math courses have on students' earnings nearly a decade after graduation. We use High School and Beyond transcript data to differentiate courses at a more detailed level than in previous research. This enables us to show that more-advanced courses have larger effects than less-advanced ones. We also provide evidence that math courses can help close the earnings gap between students from low-income and middle-income families. Finally, by incorporating other academic subjects, we demonstrate how specific course combinations can explain the earnings premium related to an additional year of school. © 2004 President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Heather Rose & Julian R. Betts, 2004. "The Effect of High School Courses on Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 497-513, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:86:y:2004:i:2:p:497-513
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Currie, Janet & Thomas, Duncan, 1995. "Does Head Start Make a Difference?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 341-364.
    2. Neal, Derek, 1997. "The Effects of Catholic Secondary Schooling on Educational Achievement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 98-123, January.
    3. O'Neill, June, 1990. "The Role of Human Capital in Earnings Differences between Black and White Men," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, pages 25-45.
    4. Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J., 2003. "Human Capital Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 821, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. William Rodgers & William Spriggs, 1996. "What does the AFQT really measure: Race, wages, schooling and the AFQT score," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, pages 13-46.
    6. Cook, Michael D & Evans, William N, 2000. "Families or Schools? Explaining the Convergence in White and Black Academic Performance," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(4), pages 729-754, October.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid

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