Is There a Causal Effect of High School Math on Labor Market Outcomes?

IZA Discussion Paper No. 2357

University of Aarhus Department of Economics Working Paper No. 2006-11

44 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2006

See all articles by Juanna Schrøter Joensen

Juanna Schrøter Joensen

University of Chicago; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Helena Skyt Nielsen

Aarhus University - Department of Economics and Business; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: October 2006

Abstract

Outsourcing of jobs to low-wage countries has increased the focus on the accumulation of skills - such as Math skills - in high-wage countries. In this paper, we exploit a high school pilot scheme to identify the causal effect of advanced high school Math on labor market outcomes. The pilot scheme reduced the costs of choosing advanced Math because it allowed for at more flexible combination of Math with other courses. We find clear evidence of a causal relationship between Math and earnings for the students who are induced to choose Math after being exposed to the pilot scheme. The effect partly stems from the fact that these students end up with higher education.

Keywords: Math, High School Reform, Instrumental Variable, Local Average Treatment Effect

JEL Classification: I20, J24

Suggested Citation

Joensen, Juanna Schrøter and Nielsen, Helena Skyt, Is There a Causal Effect of High School Math on Labor Market Outcomes? (October 2006). IZA Discussion Paper No. 2357, University of Aarhus Department of Economics Working Paper No. 2006-11, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=913347

Juanna Schrøter Joensen

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Helena Skyt Nielsen (Contact Author)

Aarhus University - Department of Economics and Business ( email )

Fuglesangs Alle 4
Aarhus, 8210
Denmark

HOME PAGE: http://person.au.dk/hnielsen@econ.au.dk

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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