More than a Paycheck? The Impact of Summer Youth Employment on Students’ Educational Engagement and Success
Jacob Leos-Urbel, Amy Ellen Schwartz, Meryle Weinstein, Beth C. Weitzman
IESP Policy Brief #02-12
This policy brief presents initial findings of the impact of New York City’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) on academic outcomes for public school students. Despite the broad appeal of providing summer jobs for urban youth, there is little research documenting the relationship between summer employment and educational outcomes for high school students. Because SYEP participation is determined through a random lottery system, our research provides a causal estimate of the impact of summer work. This brief examines SYEP’s impact on school attendance, test taking, and performance in the following school year.
- SYEP increases school attendance in the following school year.
- Increases in attendance are larger for students who are at the greatest educational risk; those with less than 95 percent attendance before SYEP, and students ages 16 and older who have more autonomy in school attendance decisions.
- SYEP increases the probability of attempting and passing math and English Regents exams for students ages 16 and over, with low prior school attendance.