Panel: Technical Education & Human Capital Development: Can Skill Development Enhance Economic Growth?
(Sustainable Economic Development)

Thursday, July 19, 2018: 3:15 PM-4:45 PM
Building 3, Room 207 (ITAM)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Chair:  Raissa Fabregas, Harvard University

Academic Program Choice in Secondary Education: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from Mexico City
Maria Elena Ortega Hesles, PraxEd and Shaun M Dougherty, University of Connecticut

Then and Now: Depicting a Changing National Profile of STEM Career and Technical Education Coursetakers
Michael Gottfried1, Ethan Hutt2 and Jay Plasman1, (1)University of California, Santa Barbara, (2)University of Maryland, College Park

Vocational education and training (VET) (career and technical education – CTE -  in the United States) comprises a large share of the secondary educational experiences of youth worldwide. VET/CTE is a substantial feature of the education marketplace in part because historically a large share of the workforce did not require higher education, but did rely on technical skills. As demand for skills have changed, educational pathways have also evolved such that VET/CTE no longer encompasses only those fields that do not require a college degree. Despite this evolution, relatively little is known about how participation in VET/CTE contributes to learning outcomes or transition to the workforce. The link between human capital development and economic productivity is clear, and thus the potential for high quality VET/CTE to meaningfully spur development stresses the importance of understanding whether and how VET/CTE participation favorably influences human capital development. This panel explores these themes.

First, Ortega-Hesles & Dougherty use school application data from the Mexico City to estimate the effect of being just admitted to a upper secondary school with a vocational theme, versus j a school with a purely academic focus.

In the second paper, Sublett uses data from two national datasets in the U.S. as well as occupation data to examine the relationship between CTE programming and local labor market demand.

And finally, Gottfried, Hutt, and Plasman, use two nationally representative datasets from the U.S. to assess whether changes in laws that generate federal funding for CTE induced changes in CTE coursetaking and outcomes.

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