The Impact of Local Labor Market Conditions on the Demand for Education: Evidence from Indian Casinos
Using restricted-use data from the 1990 and 2000 Census long-form, we analyze the impact of local labor market conditions on the demand for education using the economic shock produced by the opening of a new casino on an Indian reservation as the identifying event. Federal legislation in 1988 allowed Indian tribes to open casinos in many states and since then, over 400 casinos have opened, 240 of which have Las Vegas-style games. We demonstrate that the opening of a casino increased the employment and wages of low-skilled workers. Young adults responded by dropping out of high school and reducing college enrollment rates, even though many tribes have generous college tuition subsidy programs.
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