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