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Causal effects of mathematics

  • Torberg Falch

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)

  • Ole Henning Nyhus

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
    Center for Economic Research at NTNU)

  • Bjarne Strom

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)

This paper exploits that students at age 16 in Norway are randomly selected into one compulsory exit exam in either mathematics or languages. A few days before the actual exam day, the students are notified about exam subject. The students have an intensive preparation period, and preparation in mathematics relative to languages is found to decrease dropout from high school, increase enrollment in higher education, and increase enrollment in natural science and technology education programs. The causal effects are strongest for males, and depend on prior skills in mathematics. We explore several mechanisms that might contribute to these findings.

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File URL: http://www.svt.ntnu.no/iso/WP/2013/12_casualmath_TF_OHN_BS.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology in its series Working Paper Series with number 15013.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: 30 Jul 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nst:samfok:15013
Contact details of provider: Postal: 7491 Trondheim
Phone: 73 59 19 40
Fax: 73 59 69 54
Web page: http://www.svt.ntnu.no/iso/WP/wp.htmEmail:


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  2. Murnane, Richard J & Willett, John B & Levy, Frank, 1995. "The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(2), pages 251-66, May.
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  8. Goodman, Joshua Samuel, 2012. "The Labor of Division: Returns to Compulsory Math Coursework," Scholarly Articles 9403178, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  9. Hanushek, Eric A. & Wößmann, Ludger, 2012. "Do better schools lead to more growth? Cognitive skills, economic outcomes, and causation," Munich Reprints in Economics 20400, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  10. Dennis D. Kimko & Eric A. Hanushek, 2000. "Schooling, Labor-Force Quality, and the Growth of Nations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1184-1208, December.
  11. Eric Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2008. "The Role of Cognitive Skills in Economic Development," Discussion Papers 07-034, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  12. Joensen, Juanna Schrøter & Nielsen, Helena Skyt, 2006. "Is there a Causal Effect of High School Math on Labor Market Outcomes?," IZA Discussion Papers 2357, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Bishop, John Hillman, 1989. "Is the Test Score Decline Responsible for the Productivity Growth Decline?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 178-97, March.
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  15. Heather Rose & Julian R. Betts, 2004. "The Effect of High School Courses on Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 497-513, May.
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