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The Labor of Division: Returns to Compulsory High School Math Coursework

Joshua Goodman ()

No 23063, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: Despite great focus on and public investment in STEM education, little causal evidence connects quantitative coursework to students’ economic outcomes. I show that state changes in minimum high school math requirements substantially increase Black students’ completed math coursework and their later earnings. The marginal student’s return to an additional math course is 10 percent, roughly half the return to a year of high school, and is partly explained by a shift toward more cognitively skilled occupations. White students’ coursework and earnings are unaffected. Rigorous standards for quantitative coursework can close meaningful portions of racial gaps in economic outcomes.

JEL-codes: I24 I26 J24 J31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu and nep-lma
Date: 2017-01
Note: CH ED LS PR
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Forthcoming in the Journal of Labor Economics

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Working Paper: The Labor of Division: Returns to Compulsory High School Math Coursework (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: The Labor of Division: Returns to Compulsory High School Math Coursework (2017) Downloads
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