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The Impact of Repealing Sunday Closing Laws on Educational Attainment

Adolescents face daily trade-offs between human capital investment, labor, and leisure. This paper exploits state variation in the repeal of Sunday closing laws to examine the impact of a distinct and plausibly exogenous rise in the quantity of competing diversions available to youth on their educational attainment. The results suggest that the repeals led to a significant decline in both years of education and the probability of high school completion. I explore increased employment opportunities and risky behaviors as potential mechanisms. Further, I find a corresponding decline of the repeals on adult wages.

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File URL: https://economics.missouri.edu/working-papers/2011/wp1117_leedn.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Missouri in its series Working Papers with number 1117.

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Length: 38 pgs.
Date of creation: 05 Oct 2011
Publication status: forthcoming in the Journal of Human Resources
Handle: RePEc:umc:wpaper:1117
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Web page: http://economics.missouri.edu/

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  1. Lahav, Eyal & Benzion, Uri & Shavit, Tal, 2010. "Subjective time discount rates among teenagers and adults: Evidence from Israel," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 458-465, August.
  2. Stephen P. Jenkins & Lars Osberg, 2003. "Nobody to Play with?: The Implications of Leisure Coordination," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 368, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  3. Cook, Philip J. & Moore, Michael J., 1993. "Drinking and schooling," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 411-429, December.
  4. James J. Heckman & Paul A. LaFontaine, 2010. "The American High School Graduation Rate: Trends and Levels," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 244-262, May.
  5. Jonathan Gruber & Daniel M. Hungerman, 2008. "The Church Versus the Mall: What Happens When Religion Faces Increased Secular Competition?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 831-862.
  6. Pinka Chatterji, 2006. "Illicit drug use and educational attainment," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(5), pages 489-511.
  7. Gerald S. Oettinger, 1999. "Does High School Employment Affect High School Academic Performance?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(1), pages 136-151, October.
  8. Kelly Bedard & Elizabeth Dhuey, 2006. "The Persistence of Early Childhood Maturity: International Evidence of Long-Run Age Effects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1437-1472.
  9. 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.
  10. Ruhm, Christopher J, 1997. "Is High School Employment Consumption or Investment?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(4), pages 735-776, October.
  11. Jonathan Gruber & Daniel M. Hungerman, 2006. "The Church vs the Mall: What Happens When Religion Faces Increased Secular Competition?," NBER Working Papers 12410, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
  13. Brown, Sarah & Taylor, Karl, 2007. "Religion and education: Evidence from the National Child Development Study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 439-460, July.
  14. Elizabeth U. Cascio, 2009. "Do Investments in Universal Early Education Pay Off? Long-term Effects of Introducing Kindergartens into Public Schools," NBER Working Papers 14951, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Gerber, Alan S. & Gruber, Jonathan & Hungerman, Daniel M., 2016. "Does Church Attendance Cause People to Vote? Using Blue Laws’ Repeal to Estimate the Effect of Religiosity on Voter Turnout," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(03), pages 481-500, July.
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