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The Effect of High School Employment on Educational Attainment: A Conditional Difference-in-Differences Approach

  • Buscha, Franz

    ()

    (University of Westminster)

  • Maurel, Arnaud

    ()

    (Duke University)

  • Page, Lionel

    ()

    (University of Westminster)

  • Speckesser, Stefan

    ()

    (University of Westminster)

Using American panel data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS:88) this paper investigates the effect of working during grade 12 on attainment. We exploit the longitudinal nature of the NELS by employing, for the first time in the related literature, a semiparametric propensity score matching approach combined with difference-in- differences. This identification strategy allows us to address in a flexible way selection on both observables and unobservables associated with part-time work decisions. Once such factors are controlled for, insignificant effects on reading and math scores are found. We show that these results are robust to a matching approach combined with difference-in-difference-in-differences which allows differential time trends in attainment according to the working status in grade 12.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3696.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 'The Effect of Employment while in High School on Educational Attainment: A Conditional Difference-in-Differences Approach' in: Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, 2012, 74 (3), 380–396
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3696
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  1. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra, 1998. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 261-94, April.
  2. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1995. "Is High School Employment Consumption or Investment?," NBER Working Papers 5030, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Bergemann, Annette & Fitzenberger, Bernd & Speckesser, Stefan, 2005. "Evaluating the Dynamic Employment Effects of Training Programs in East Germany Using Conditional Difference-in-Differences," IZA Discussion Papers 1848, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. 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.
  5. Claude Montmarquette & Nathalie Viennot-Briot & Marcel Dagenais, 2007. "Dropout, School Performance, and Working while in School," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(4), pages 752-760, November.
  6. 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.
  7. Richard Dorsett, 2005. "Unemployed couples: the labour market effects of making both partners search for work," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 168(2), pages 365-385.
  8. Donna S. Rothstein, 2007. "High School Employment and Youths' Academic Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(1).
  9. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," NBER Working Papers 6699, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Christian Dustmann & Arthur Soest, 2007. "Part-time work, school success and school leaving," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 277-299, May.
  11. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2008. "On the Failure of the Bootstrap for Matching Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(6), pages 1537-1557, November.
  12. A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005. "Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
  13. Michael, Robert T & Tuma, Nancy Brandon, 1984. "Youth Employment: Does Life Begin at 16?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(4), pages 464-76, October.
  14. Heckman, James J. & Lalonde, Robert J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 1999. "The economics and econometrics of active labor market programs," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1865-2097 Elsevier.
  15. 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.
  16. Orley Ashenfelter & David Card, 1984. "Using the Longitudinal Structure of Earnings to Estimate the Effect of Training Programs," Working Papers 554, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  17. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Daniel R. Sherman, 1987. "Employment While in College, Academic Achievement, and Postcollege Outcomes: A Summary of Results," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 22(1), pages 1-23.
  18. Robert H. Meyer & David A. Wise, 1982. "High School Preparation and Early Labor Force Experience," NBER Chapters, in: The Youth Labor Market Problem: Its Nature, Causes, and Consequences, pages 277-348 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Steinberg, Laurence D. & Greenberger, Ellen, 1980. "The part-time employment of high school students: A research agenda," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 2(1-2), pages 159-183.
  20. Alex Bryson & Richard Dorsett & Susan Purdon, 2002. "The use of propensity score matching in the evaluation of active labour market policies," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4993, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  21. Zvi Eckstein & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1999. "Why Youths Drop Out of High School: The Impact of Preferences, Opportunities, and Abilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(6), pages 1295-1340, November.
  22. Anna Sanz-de-Galdeano & Daniela Vuri, 2007. "Parental Divorce and Students' Performance: Evidence from Longitudinal Data," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 69(3), pages 321-338, 06.
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