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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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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Steven Glazerman & Daniel Mayer & Paul Decker, 2006. "Alternative routes to teaching: The impacts of Teach for America on student achievement and other outcomes," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(1), pages 75-96.
    2. Douglas Almond & Joseph J. Doyle & Amanda E. Kowalski & Heidi Williams, 2010. "Estimating Marginal Returns to Medical Care: Evidence from At-risk Newborns," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(2), pages 591-634.
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    5. Alan B. Krueger & Andreas Mueller, 2011. "Job Search and Job Finding in a Period of Mass Unemployment: Evidence from High-Frequency Longitudinal Data," Working Papers 1283, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    6. Guido Imbens & Karthik Kalyanaraman, 2012. "Optimal Bandwidth Choice for the Regression Discontinuity Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(3), pages 933-959.
    7. David Clingingsmith & Asim Ijaz Khwaja & Michael Kremer, 2009. "Estimating the Impact of The Hajj: Religion and Tolerance in Islam's Global Gathering," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1133-1170.
    8. 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.
    9. Zeyu Xu & Jane Hannaway & Colin Taylor, 2011. "Making a difference? The effects of Teach For America in high school," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(3), pages 447-469, June.
    10. Alan B. Krueger & Andreas Mueller, 2011. "Job Search, Emotional Well-Being and Job Finding in a Period of Mass Unemployment: Evidence from High-Frequency Longitudinal Data," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 42(1 (Spring), pages 1-81.
    11. Eric Luis Uhlmann & Anthony Greenwald & Andrew Poehlmann & Mahzarin Banaji, 2009. "Understanding and Using the Implicit Association Test: III. Meta-Analysis of Predictive Validity," Post-Print hal-00516146, HAL.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Emiliana Vegas & Alejandro Ganimian, 2013. "Theory and Evidence on Teacher Policies in Developed and Developing Countries," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 4597, Inter-American Development Bank.
    3. 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.

    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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