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High School Employment, School Performance, and College Entry

  • Lee, Chanyoung
  • Orazem, Peter

The proportion of U.S. high school students working during the school year ranges from 23% in the freshman year to 75% in the senior year. This study estimates how cumulative work histories during the high school years affect probability of dropout, high school academic performance, and the probability of attending college. Variation in individual date of birth and in state truancy laws along with the strength of local demand for low-skill labor are used as instruments for endogenous work hours during the high school career. Working more hours during the academic year does not affect high school academic performance. However, increased high school work intensity raises the likelihood of completing high school but lowers the probability of going to college. These results are similar for boys and girls, and so working during high school does not explain the widening gap in college entry between men and women.

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File URL: http://www.econ.iastate.edu/sites/default/files/publications/papers/p5474-2008-06-18.pdf
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Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 12953.

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Date of creation: 17 Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Economics of Education Review, February 2010, vol. 29 no. 1, pp. 29-39
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:12953
Contact details of provider: Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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  1. Angrist, Joshua D & Krueger, Alan B, 1991. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 979-1014, November.
  2. Eckstein, Zvi & Wolpin, Kenneth, 1998. "Youth Employment and Academic Performance in High School," IZA Discussion Papers 18, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Dan A. Black & Terra G. McKinnish & Seth G. Sanders, 2005. "Tight labor markets and the demand for education: Evidence from the coal boom and bust," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 59(1), pages 3-16, October.
  4. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1995. "Is High School Employment Consumption or Investment?," NBER Working Papers 5030, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. Stephen V. Cameron & Christopher Taber, 2004. "Estimation of Educational Borrowing Constraints Using Returns to Schooling," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(1), pages 132-182, February.
  7. 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 518-29, October.
  8. Ralph Stinebrickner & Todd R. Stinebrickner, 2003. "Working during School and Academic Performance," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 449-472, April.
  9. Donna S. Rothstein, 2007. "High School Employment and Youths' Academic Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(1).
  10. 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.
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