Journal of Labor Research

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 201–218 | Cite as

Do High School Gifted Programs Lead to Later-in-Life Success?

  • David M. Welsch
  • David M. ZimmerEmail author


This paper investigates the effects of participation in gifted education programs, and offers several contributions to existing research. First, this paper studies the effects of high school programs, as opposed to the more commonly-studied elementary and middle school versions. Second, this paper considers impacts of gifted programs on later-in-life socioeconomic success, including college graduation and eventual employment, as opposed to short-run standardized test outcomes. Third, this paper uses sibling fixed effects, coupled with a recently-proposed decomposition method, as an identification approach. The main conclusion is that gifted programs tend to include students who possess traits that already correlate with later-in-life success. After controlling for those traits, gifted programs, per se, show little statistical relationship to later-in-life outcomes.


Gifted and talented Variable decomposition Sibling fixed effects 

JEL Classification



Compliance with Ethical Standards


This paper received no external funding.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics, College of Business and EconomicsUniversity of Wisconsin-WhitewaterWhitewaterUSA
  2. 2.Department of Economics, Gordon Ford College of BusinessWestern Kentucky UniversityBowling GreenUSA

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