NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Effects of High School Curriculum on Education and Labor Market Outcomes

Joseph G. Altonji

NBER Working Paper No. 4142
Issued in August 1992
NBER Program(s):   LS

There is much public discussion but almost no evidence on the effects of high school curriculum on postsecondary education and on success in the labor market. I use the large variation in curriculum across US high schools to identify the effects on wages and educational attainment of specific courses of study. The main finding is that the return to additional courses in academic subject is small. One cannot account for the value of a year of high school with estimates of the value of the courses taken by the typical student during the year.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w4142

Published: Journal of Human Resources, Vol. 30, No. 3, Summer 1995, pp. 409-438 citation courtesy of

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