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

54 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2017

See all articles by Joshua Goodman

Joshua Goodman

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 2017

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.

Suggested Citation

Goodman, Joshua, The Labor of Division: Returns to Compulsory High School Math Coursework (January 2017). NBER Working Paper No. w23063. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2903730

Joshua Goodman (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.hks.harvard.edu/about/faculty-staff-directory/joshua-goodman/

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