Catholic High School Graduates Make Way More Money Than Everyone Else

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Photo: Rachel_2007 via Flickr

Michael T. Owyang and E. Katarina Vermann at the St. Louis Fed are out with some fascinating research looking at school types versus income.They compared private schools, public schools and Catholic schools under various conditions (rural versus urban, high versus low drop-out rate and starting teacher salary) with future outcome for students.

Here’s what the found: If you control for certain aspects of students’ socioeconomic backgrounds, students who attended Catholic schools and schools that had high teacher salaries yielded higher incomes for students. Sending your kid to a private school was mostly a push in terms of future earnings:

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Photo: St. Louis Fed

Owyang and Vermann write:

According to our estimates, the wage premium associated with attending a private high school is much smaller than the summary statistics in the previous section suggest. After controlling for individual and job characteristics, private high school graduates earn 2.6 per cent more than their public school counterparts. This increase, however, is not statistically significant.

In contrast, Catholic high school graduates earn a statistically significant 13.6 per cent wage premium…This result could indicate that there are significant differences in unquantifiable aspects of school quality that could affect earnings later in life.

The pair caution that correlation is merely suggestive, and that it does not follow that one ought to be send their children to Catholic schools if they want them to end up with higher incomes.

Parental involvement, for instance, was not controlled for.

But the link is nonetheless revealing.

SEE ALSO: What Americans Will Look Like In 2050 >

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