Do required math courses increase your earnings?

So says Josh Goodman at the Kennedy School:

I identify the impact of math coursework on earnings using the differential timing of state-level increases in high school graduation requirements as a source of exogenous variation. The increased requirements induced large increases in both the completed math coursework and earnings of blacks, particularly black males. Two-sample instrumental variable estimates suggest that each additional year of math raised blacks’ earnings by 5-9%, accounting for a large fraction of the value of a year of schooling. Closer analysis suggests that much of this effect comes from black students who attend non-white schools and who will not attend college.

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2 thoughts on “Do required math courses increase your earnings?

  1. Yemon Choi says:

    Earnings where? Among which groups?

  2. Jim says:

    Yes, requiring math courses for other people increases my earnings. :) (Actually probably not, but it does increase the number of my colleagues.)

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