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Using State Child Labor Laws to Identify the Effect of School-Year Work on High School Achievement

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  • John H. Tyler

    (Brown University)

Abstract

This article uses variation in the labor supply of twelfth-grade students created by interstate variations in child labor laws to estimate the effect of school-year work on twelfth-grade math achievement. The instrumental variable estimates in this article indicate that an exogenous decrease in school-year hours worked of 10 hours per week would result in a 0.2 standard deviation increase in math scores. Comparisons to ordinary least squares estimates suggest that failure to account for the endogeneity of the labor supply decisions of high school students will result in underestimates of the negative impact of school-year work on academic achievement.

Suggested Citation

  • John H. Tyler, 2003. "Using State Child Labor Laws to Identify the Effect of School-Year Work on High School Achievement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 353-380, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:21:y:2003:i:2:p:353-380
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    1. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Stark, Oded, 1989. "Consumption Smoothing, Migration, and Marriage: Evidence from Rural India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 905-926, August.
    2. Katz, Eliakim & Stark, Oded, 1986. "Labor Migration and Risk Aversion in Less Developed Countries," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(1), pages 134-149, January.
    3. Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-553, September.
    4. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-142, March.
    5. Ghatak, Subrata & Levine, Paul & Price, Stephen Wheatley, 1996. " Migration Theories and Evidence: An Assessment," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(2), pages 159-198, June.
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