Secondary Mathematics Education: An Analysis of the Effects on Postsecondary Degrees, Educational Attainment, and Labor Market Outcomes
- The optimization of educational curricula in the domain of mathematics has long been an area of interest for researchers, educators, and policymakers, yet further scholarship is needed to capture the effects through causal methods. Researchers are limited by the self-selection bias, as students and families retain a degree of agency in selecting their mathematics curricula. A causal estimate is approached in this analysis through an empirical strategy in which secondary mathematics requirements—both for college admission and for a high school diploma—serve as an exogenous source of cross-state, temporal curricular variation, enabling my systematic approach to address the concern of course-taking selection bias. I find that a one Carnegie unit increase in college admissions requirements plausibly causes an increase in the percent of baccalaureate graduates who hold STEM degrees by 1%; of real earnings by 4%; and of the mathematical skill of one’s occupation by 2 points in the zero to one-hundred classification system. Demographically, I find slight differences in these outcomes by race and sex; for instance, females see a 0.4% higher earnings increase than do males and the only significant educational attainment increase when admissions requirements increase by one unit. Further, I find that a one Carnegie unit increase in the requirement for a high school diploma plausibly causes a 0.1% reduction in the percent of STEM degree earners. These results show evidence for both individual and societal implications of heightened secondary mathematics education.
|Type of resource
|May 14, 2020
|Degree granting institution
|Stanford University, Department of Economics
|Department of Economics
|labor force composition
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- This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).
- Preferred Citation
- Rosston, Lindsay. (2020). Secondary Mathematics Education: An Analysis of the Effects on Postsecondary Degrees, Educational Attainment, and Labor Market Outcomes. Stanford Digital Repository. Available at: https://purl.stanford.edu/jp552kr0854
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