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Gone for Good? Determinants of School Dropout in Southern Italy

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Author Info

  • Niall O'Higgins

    ()
    (University of Salerno, Celpe)

  • Marcello D'Amato

    (University of Salerno, Celpe)

  • Floro Ernesto Caroleo

    (University of Napoli Parthenope)

  • Adriana Barone

    (University of Salerno, Celpe)

Abstract

The aim of the present paper is to gain some insight into the causes of dropping out of school and, more generally, of the factors that induce parents to review their choices about their child’s schooling careers. To this end we apply to data from a school dropout survey insights from a model of sequential decision making by parents, where the initial decision can be reviewed in the light of new information emerging about the ability and opportunities of the child in benefitting from education relative to her alternative (in the unskilled labour market). Analysis of the data confirms that both the economic capacity (opportunity costs) and the cultural capacity (ability to disentangle signals about future opportunities) of the family of origin shape observed choices about drop-out and return to school by individuals in our sample. Dropping out behaviour also appears to be strongly influenced by mismatches between school and student, however, and many of those who leave are not “gone for good.”

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University in its journal Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia.

Volume (Year): 66 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (July)
Pages: 207-246

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Handle: RePEc:gde:journl:gde_v66_n2_p207-246

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Related research

Keywords: young people; school dropout; human capital;

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References

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  1. Eric A. Hanushek & Victor Lavy & Kohtaro Hitomi, 2006. "Do Students Care about School Quality? Determinants of Dropout Behavior in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 12737, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Checchi, Daniele & Flabbi, Luca, 2007. "Intergenerational Mobility and Schooling Decisions in Germany and Italy: The Impact of Secondary School Tracks," IZA Discussion Papers 2876, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Cardoso, Ana Rute & Verner, Dorte, 2006. "School Drop-Out and Push-Out Factors in Brazil: The Role of Early Parenthood, Child Labor, and Poverty," IZA Discussion Papers 2515, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 1990. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," NBER Working Papers 3572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Pedro Carneiro & James J. Heckman, 2002. "The Evidence on Credit Constraints in Post-Secondary Schooling," NBER Working Papers 9055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Dilip Mookherjee & Debraj Ray, 2003. "Persistent Inequality," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 369-393.
  7. Zvi Eckstein & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1999. "Why Youths Drop Out of High School: The Impact of Preferences, Opportunities, and Abilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(6), pages 1295-1340, November.
  8. Daniele Checchi & Francesco Zollino, 2001. "Sistema scolastico e selezione sociale in Italia," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 91(6), pages 43-84, July-Augu.
  9. Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J., 2003. "Human Capital Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 821, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Richard Blundell & Lorraine Dearden & Barbara Sianesi, 2003. "Evaluating the impact of education on earnings in the UK: Models, methods and results from the NCDS," IFS Working Papers W03/20, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  11. Lance Lochner & Enrico Moretti, 2004. "The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self-Reports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 155-189, March.
  12. David Card, 2000. "Estimating the Return to Schooling: Progress on Some Persistent Econometric Problems," NBER Working Papers 7769, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Glenda Quintini & Sébastien Martin, 2006. "Starting Well or Losing their Way?: The Position of Youth in the Labour Market in OECD Countries," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 39, OECD Publishing.
  14. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2002. "Identity and Schooling: Some Lessons for the Economics of Education," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1167-1201, December.
  15. Oreopoulos, Philip, 2007. "Do dropouts drop out too soon? Wealth, health and happiness from compulsory schooling," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(11-12), pages 2213-2229, December.
  16. Daron Acemoglu & Joshua Angrist, 2001. "How Large are Human-Capital Externalities? Evidence from Compulsory-Schooling Laws," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 9-74 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. CARRIERI, Vincenzo & D'AMATO, Marcello & ZOTTI, Roberto, 2013. "Selective Admission Tests and Students' Performances. Evidence from a Natural Experiment in a Large Italian University," CELPE Working Papers 0/00, CELPE - Centre of Labour Economics and Economic Policy, University of Salerno, Italy.
  2. Hoffmann, Sarah, 2010. "Schulabbrecher in Deutschland - eine bildungsstatistische Analyse mit aggregierten und Individualdaten," Discussion Papers 71, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  3. Caroleo, Floro Ernesto & Pastore, Francesco, 2011. "Talking about the Pigou Paradox: Socio-Educational Background and Educational Outcomes of AlmaLaurea," IZA Discussion Papers 6021, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Hati, Koushik Kumar & Majumder, Rajarshi, 2012. "Proximate Determinants of School Dropout: A study on Rural West Bengal," MPRA Paper 45850, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Barone, Adriana & O'Higgins, Niall, 2010. "Fat and out in Salerno and its province: Adolescent obesity and early school leaving in Southern Italy," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 44-57, March.
  6. Checchi Daniele, 2010. "Educational achievements and social origins in Italy," Politica economica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 3, pages 359-388.

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