How Do Students Respond to Labor Market and Education Incentives? An Analysis of Homework Time

Journal of Labor Research
Volume 32 Number 3
September 2011
Pages 199-209
DOI: 10.1007/s12122-011-9113-x

Prepublication Version


This study examines the extent to which high school students respond to education and labor market incentives when making decisions about homework. Student and state fixed effects estimators are used to control for unobserved individual and geographic heterogeneity and selection. I find that students’ choices about homework respond to unemployment rates and changes in the minimum wage, but not to changes in the price of higher education. These responses are not constant throughout the population: female students, low income students, and low achieving students in particular increase their homework time in response to a higher minimum wage, while male students are more responsive to changes in the unemployment rate.