Do college-preparatory programs improve long-term outcomes?

C. Kirabo Jackson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


This paper presents an analysis of the longer-run effects of a college-preparatory program implemented in inner-city schools that provided teacher training in addition to payments to 11th- and 12th-grade students and their teachers for passing scores on Advanced Placement (AP) exams. Affected students passed more AP exams, were more likely to remain in college beyond their first and second years, and earned higher wages. Effects are particularly pronounced for Hispanic students who experienced a 2.5-percentage-point increase in college degree attainment and an 11% increase in earnings. While the study is based on nonexperimental variation, the results are robust across a variety of specifications, and most plausible sources of bias are ruled out. The results provide credible evidence that implementing high-quality college-preparatory programs in existing urban schools can improve the long-run educational and labor-market outcomes of disadvantaged youth. (JEL I2, I24, J0)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-99
Number of pages28
JournalEconomic Inquiry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Economics and Econometrics


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