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Industry Choice and within Industry Earnings Effects

Eric Brunner (), Shaun Dougherty () and Stephen L. Ross ()
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Eric Brunner: University of Connecticut
Shaun Dougherty: Boston College
Stephen L. Ross: University of Connecticut

No 2022-025, Working Papers from Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group

Abstract: We examine the effect of attending stand-alone technical high schools on the industry of employment choices and within industry earnings premiums of young adults using a regression discontinuity design. Our analysis is based on the universe of students that applied to the Connecticut Technical Education and Career System (CTECS) between 2006 and 2011. Admission to a CTECS school shifts male applicants towards working in higher paying industries that align with CTECS course work and programs of study. Admission to a CTECS school has a much more modest impact on the industry of employment for female applicants. Further, key industry effects observed for females shift these applicants towards lower paying industries. Surprisingly, both the overall industry earnings premiums and the treatment effects of CTECS on earnings premiums are similar and sometimes larger for female applicants in traditionally male dominated industries like manufacturing and construction. However, the number of females in these industries is too small to contribute substantially to female earnings in aggregate. Our mechanism analysis suggests that treatment effects on industry specific earnings premium vary across industries. In particular, for male applicants, treatment effects in the manufacturing and construction industry depend in part on work experience while in high school and as a young adult. Finally, we find that in the professional and office support industries CTECS treatment effects on earnings arise due to the selection into these industries of students with high 8th grade tests scores because these industries offer a higher direct return to cognitive skills for young adults.

Keywords: technical high school; earnings premiums; young adults; regression discontinuity design (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I24 I25 I26 J30 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022-08
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-lma and nep-ure
Note: MIP
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