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Do stricter high school math requirements raise college STEM attainment?

Ning Jia

Economics of Education Review, 2021, vol. 83, issue C

Abstract: This paper examines the impact of stricter high school math requirements on the likelihood of completing a degree in STEM fields. Exploiting cross-state variation in the timing of math reforms, I find that stricter math curriculum requirements significantly increased the proportion of the college-educated population earning a STEM degree. Within STEM, the increases in degree completion are concentrated in math and science while there is little discernible impact in technology and engineering. Further analysis suggests that high school graduation, college attendance, and overall degree completion are largely unaffected by the implementation of math reforms. Instead, stricter math curriculum requirements appear to have shifted some students away from non-STEM fields into STEM fields.

Keywords: Math requirements; Educational attainment; STEM (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 I28 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2021.102140

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