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The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy

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Volume 15, Issue 3 (Jul 2015)


Volume 6 (2006)

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Volume 1 (2001)

The Impact of Voluntary Youth Service on Future Outcomes: Evidence from Teach For America

Will Dobbie
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Economics, Princeton University, Firestone Library, 1 Washington Road, Princeton, NJ, USA
  • NBER, Cambridge, MA, USA
  • Email:
/ Roland G. Fryer, Jr.
  • Department of Economics, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
  • NBER, Cambridge, MA, USA
  • Email:
Published Online: 2015-04-17 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bejeap-2014-0187


This paper provides causal estimates of the impact of service programs on those who serve, using data from a web-based survey of former Teach For America (TFA) applicants. We estimate the effect of voluntary youth service using a discontinuity in the TFA application process. Participating in TFA increases racial tolerance, makes individuals more optimistic about the life prospects of poor children, and makes them more likely to work in education.

This article offers supplementary material which is provided at the end of the article.

Keywords: Teach For America; youth service; racial tolerance


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About the article

Published Online: 2015-04-17

Published in Print: 2015-07-01

Funding: Financial support from the Education Innovation Lab at Harvard University [Fryer], and the Multidisciplinary Program on Inequality and Social Policy [Dobbie] is gratefully acknowledged.

Citation Information: The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, ISSN (Online) 1935-1682, ISSN (Print) 2194-6108, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bejeap-2014-0187. Export Citation

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