Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Blair, F. Benjamin

Committee Member

Thomas, Kathleen M.

Committee Member

Campbell, Charles

Committee Member

Millea, Meghan

Committee Member

Campbell, Randy

Other Advisors or Committee Members

Travis, Rick

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Applied Economics

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Business


Department of Finance and Economics


An important part of almost every student‟s high school experience is participation in an extracurricular activity. Many schools encourage their students to participate in these voluntary activities because they build skills that may not be taught in the classroom, but may be important in becoming successful in school and in the community. Extracurricular activities put students in leadership positions, teach them team work, and can instill a confidence in their abilities. Previous research has shown that participation in extracurricular activities in high school can affect labor market conditions and educational achievements, but few studies have differentiated the impacts of different types of extracurricular activities on earnings and educational attainment. This paper examines the academic and labor market effects of participating in a performing arts activity in high school. The arts are of particular interest because the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 lists it as a core academic course. The core courses are believed to increase the academic attainment of students, and are eligible for increased federal funding based on “scientifically-based research” (Arts Education Partnership, 2005; Arts Education Partnership, 2006, p. 4). A major problem in program evaluation is the possibility of selection bias due to the non-randomized way individuals self-select into activities. To reduce the bias, a treatment effects model is estimated using the covariate matching technique. I use the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79) to test my hypotheses.



NLSY||Matching||Occupation Outcomes||Education Outcomes||Performing Arts