Panel Paper: The Role of Career and Technical Education in Promoting Human Capital Accumulation and Bridging Labor-Market Needs: Evidence from Massachusetts

Thursday, November 6, 2014 : 9:10 AM
Cimarron (Convention Center)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Shaun Dougherty, University of Connecticut
In this paper I investigate whether and how career and technical educational (CTE) programs in Massachusetts that engage in public-private partnerships promote human capital accumulation in youth (as measured by high-school graduation), and whether existing program offerings match demonstrated labor market needs, especially in areas with high concentrations of individuals from low-income families. I capitalize on a rich set of administrative data from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as well as publicly available employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to track employment trends within the state. I estimate the effect of participating in a CTE program that utilizes public-private partnerships on high-school graduation using OLS as well as coarsened exact matching and find that students who participate in such programs have a three percentage-point higher probability of on-time high school graduation than similar peers in other educational programs. Importantly, I find that the effects are larger for students who are free or reduced-price lunch eligible (7 percentage points) a group that is overrepresented in CTE and high-school non-completers.  This work informs an understanding the impact of CTE participation on attainment of a high-school diploma among policymakers and educators regarding the potential effects of CTE in promoting or hindering the human capital accumulation of youth in Massachusetts.