Date of Graduation

Spring 5-19-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Economics (MSAE)


College of Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Andrew Hobbs

Second Advisor

Jesse Anttila-Hughes


The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, implemented in 2012, has been a subject of intense debate. While much research has examined the early effects of DACA, this study contributes to the literature by analyzing more recent data on the labor and educational outcomes of DACA recipients in California. Using a difference-in-differences approach, I aim to uncover significant changes in the labor market and educational outcomes of DACA recipients over time. I find those eligible for DACA experienced noteworthy effects compared to those who were ineligible. Specifically, they exhibit a significant 3.1 percentage point increase in the likelihood of having worked in the past year, accompanied by an annual earning boost of $2290, an additional 1.8 hours of work per week, and a 1.7 percentage point decrease in the likelihood of being self-employed. Regarding education, although there is no significant difference in the likelihood of obtaining a GED between the eligible and ineligible groups, those who qualify for DACA demonstrate a notable 2.2 percentage point increase in college attendance compared to the ineligible group. These findings offer valuable insights into the long-term implications of DACA and bear significant policy implications. They shed light on the lives of hundreds of thousands of individuals and families affected by DACA, informing crucial decision-making processes that can shape their futures.