Do College‐Preparatory Programs Improve Long‐Term Outcomes?

28 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2013

Date Written: January 2014


This paper presents an analysis of the longer‐run effects of a college‐preparatory program implemented in inner‐city schools that provided teacher training in addition to payments to 11th‐ and 12th‐grade students and their teachers for passing scores on Advanced Placement (AP) exams. Affected students passed more AP exams, were more likely to remain in college beyond their first and second years, and earned higher wages. Effects are particularly pronounced for Hispanic students who experienced a 2.5‐percentage‐point increase in college degree attainment and an 11% increase in earnings. While the study is based on nonexperimental variation, the results are robust across a variety of specifications, and most plausible sources of bias are ruled out. The results provide credible evidence that implementing high‐quality college‐preparatory programs in existing urban schools can improve the long‐run educational and labor‐market outcomes of disadvantaged youth.

JEL Classification: I2, I24, J0

Suggested Citation

Kirabo Jackson, C., Do College‐Preparatory Programs Improve Long‐Term Outcomes? (January 2014). Economic Inquiry, Vol. 52, Issue 1, pp. 72-99, 2014, Available at SSRN: or

C. Kirabo Jackson (Contact Author)

Northwestern University ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

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