Estimating the Benefit of High School for College-Bound Students
Studies based on instrumental variable techniques suggest that the value of a high school education is large for potential dropouts, yet we know much less about the size of the benefit for students who will go on to post-secondary education. To help fill this gap, I measure the value-added of a year of high-school mathematics for university-bound students using a recent Ontario secondary school reform. The subject specificity of this reform makes it possible to identify the benefit of an extra year of mathematics despite the presence of self-selection: one can use subjects unaffected by the reform to control for potential ability differences between control and treatment groups. Further, the richness of the data allows me to generalize the standard difference-in-differences estimator, correcting for heterogeneity in ability measurement across subjects. The estimated value-added to an extra year of mathematics is small for these students – of the order of 17 percent of a standard deviation in university grades. This evidence helps to explain why the literature finds only modest effects of taking more mathematics in high school on wages, the small monetary gain being due to a lack of subject-specific human capital accumulation. Within- and between-sample comparisons also suggest that the extra year of mathematics benefits lowerability students more than higher-ability students.
|Date of creation:||2010|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: PO Box 450, Station A, Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 6N5|
Phone: (613) 562-5753
Fax: (613) 562-5999
Web page: http://www.socialsciences.uottawa.ca/eco/eng/index.asp
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Abowd, John M & Card, David, 1987.
"Intertemporal Labor Supply and Long-term Employment Contracts,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 50-68, March.
- John M. Abowd & David Card, 1986. "Intertemporal Labor Supply and Long Term Employment Contracts," NBER Working Papers 1831, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Levine, Phillip B & Zimmerman, David J, 1995. "The Benefit of Additional High-School Math and Science Classes for Young Men and Women," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 137-149, April.
- Harmon, Colm & Walker, Ian, 1995.
"Estimates of the Economic Return to Schooling for the United Kingdom,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1278-1286, December.
- Colm Harmon & Ian Walker, 1995. "Estimates of the economic return to schooling for the United Kingdom," Open Access publications 10197/647, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
- Florian Hoffmann & Philip Oreopoulos, 2009. "Professor Qualities and Student Achievement," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 83-92, February.
- Altonji, Joseph G. & Martins, Ana Paula & Siow, Aloysius, 2002. "Dynamic factor models of consumption, hours and income," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 3-59, June.
- Joseph G. Altonji & Ana Paula Martins & Aloysius Siow, 1987. "Dynamic Factor Models of Consumption, Hours, and Income," NBER Working Papers 2155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Imbens, Guido W & Angrist, Joshua D, 1994. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 467-475, March.
- Joshua D. Angrist & Guido W. Imbens, 1995. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," NBER Technical Working Papers 0118, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Costas Meghir & Mårten Palme, 2005. "Educational Reform, Ability, and Family Background," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 414-424, March.
- Baker, Michael, 1997. "Growth-Rate Heterogeneity and the Covariance Structure of Life-Cycle Earnings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(2), pages 338-375, April.
- Loury, Linda Datcher & Garman, David, 1995. "College Selectivity and Earnings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 289-308, April.
- Joel L. Horowitz, 1996. "Bootstrap Methods For Covariance Structures," Econometrics 9610003, EconWPA.
- Lang, Kevin, 1993. "Ability Bias, Discount Rate Bias and the Return to Education," MPRA Paper 24651, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Keueger, 1991. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 979-1014.
- Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 1990. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," Working Papers 653, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
- Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 1990. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," NBER Working Papers 3572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ethel B. Jones & John D. Jackson, 1990. "College Grades and Labor Market Rewards," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(2), pages 253-266.
- Joshua Angrist & Daniel Lang & Philip Oreopoulos, 2006. "Lead Them to Water and Pay Them to Drink: An Experiment with Services and Incentives for College Achievement," NBER Working Papers 12790, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Abowd, John M & Card, David, 1989. "On the Covariance Structure of Earnings and Hours Changes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 411-445, March.Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
- John M. Abowd & David Card, 1986. "On the Covariance Structure of Earnings and Hours Changes," NBER Working Papers 1832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.