The effects of economic and financial coursework on education attainment and EITC claims in the United States: 1998-2019




Hunt, Jacob J. S

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This paper examines the effects of offered and required coursework covering financial and economic topics in U.S. high schools over the past 20 years. Using a difference-in-differences framework, I look at the effects of economic and financial curricula on several post high school outcomes such as education attainment of potentially exposed groups, tax credit filing behaviour, and differences in poverty status. Analysis is done with 3 levels of geographic fixed effects; at the state level, county level, and contiguous county pairs that straddle state borders where discontinuities in coursework offerings or requirements are present. The results of this study do not suggest that potential exposure to economic or financial courses, whether they be offered or required, has any significant economic or statistical impact on education attainment for the affected population at the high school or post-secondary level. Exposure to coursework does not have a large economic impact on poverty reduction in potentially affected populations, but does result in some increase in both the likelihood of claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit, as well as the amount claimed.



Finance, Economics, EITC, Education, Curriculum