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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
Date of revision:
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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  24. Todd E. Elder & Darren H. Lubotsky, 2009. "Kindergarten Entrance Age and Children’s Achievement: Impacts of State Policies, Family Background, and Peers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(3).
  25. Michael, Robert T & Tuma, Nancy Brandon, 1984. "Youth Employment: Does Life Begin at 16?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(4), pages 464-76, October.
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  28. Alan Gerber & Jonathan Gruber & Daniel M. Hungerman, 2008. "Does Church Attendance Cause People to Vote? Using Blue Laws' Repeal to Estimate the Effect of Religiosity on Voter Turnout," NBER Working Papers 14303, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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