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

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  • Will Dobbie
  • Roland G. Fryer, Jr

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Will Dobbie & Roland G. Fryer, Jr, 2011. "The Impact of Youth Service on Future Outcomes: Evidence from Teach For America," NBER Working Papers 17402, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17402
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    Cited by:

    1. Cory Koedel & Jiaxi Li & Matthew G. Springer & Li Tan, 2016. "The Impact of Performance Ratings on Job Satisfaction for Public School Teachers," Working Papers 1617, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
    2. Vegas, E & Ganimian, A. J., 2013. "Theory and Evidence on Teacher Policies in Developed and Developing Countries," Working Paper 104291, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    3. Jonathan M.V. Davis, 2017. "The Short and Long Run Impacts of Centralized Clearinghouses: Evidence from Matching Teach For America Teachers to Schools," 2017 Papers pda791, Job Market Papers.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I00 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General - - - General
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General

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