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The Impact of Youth Service on Future Outcomes: Evidence from Teach For America

  • Will Dobbie
  • Roland G. Fryer, Jr

Nearly one million American youth have participated in service programs such as Peace Corps and Teach For America. This paper provides the first causal estimate of the impact of service programs on those who serve, using data from a web-based survey of former Teach For America applicants. We estimate the effect of voluntary youth service using a sharp discontinuity in the Teach For America application process. Participating in Teach For America increases racial tolerance, makes individuals more optimistic about the life chances of poor children, and makes them more likely to work in education. We argue that these facts are broadly consistent with the "Contact Hypothesis," which states that, under appropriate conditions, interpersonal contact can reduce prejudice.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17402.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17402.

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Date of creation: Sep 2011
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17402
Note: ED LS
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  1. McCrary, Justin, 2008. "Manipulation of the running variable in the regression discontinuity design: A density test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 698-714, February.
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  4. Clingingsmith, David & Khwaja, Asim Ijaz & Kremer, Michael, 2008. "Estimating the Impact of the Hajj: Religion and Tolerance in Islam’s Global Gathering," Working Paper Series rwp08-022, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
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  8. Steven Glazerman Daniel P Mayer Paul T Decker, 2006. "Alternative Routes to Teaching: The Impacts of Teach For America on Student Achievement and Other Outcomes," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 0eae07a7e88b43759856043ce, Mathematica Policy Research.
  9. David Card & Alexandre Mas & Jesse Rothstein, 2008. "Tipping and the Dynamics of Segregation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(1), pages 177-218, 02.
  10. Jushan Bai, 1997. "Estimation Of A Change Point In Multiple Regression Models," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(4), pages 551-563, November.
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