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The Human Capital Effect of General Education Development Certificates on Low Income Women


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  • Jian Cao
  • Ernst W. Stromsdorfer
  • Gregory Weeks
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    This study examines the impacts of the General Equivalency Diploma (GED) certificate and other secondary and post-secondary credentials on labor market outcomes for women. It uses data from the NLSY Mother and Children file and the Washington State Family Income Study (FIS). Correcting for sample selection and endogeneity bias of welfare recipiency, we find that one cannot distinguish between secondary dropouts, GED recipients, and secondary graduates in hours of work. Results on hourly wage rates are mixed. For the FIS sample, GED recipients, secondary graduates, and secondary dropouts earn the same wage. For the NLSY, GED recipients fare better than dropouts, but worse than secondary graduates. Job experience explains the wage gap between GED recipients and graduates, but its explanatory power is dominated by controlling for years of education or AFQT. Differences in years of education and AFQT scores are responsible for the observed wage differences among GED recipients, secondary graduates, and secondary dropouts.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

    Volume (Year): 31 (1996)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 206-228

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    Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:31:y:1996:i:1:p:206-228

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    Cited by:
    1. Peter R. Mueser & Christopher Jepsen & Kenneth Troske, 2010. "Labor-Market Returns to the GED Using Regression Discontinuity Analysis," Working Papers, Department of Economics, University of Missouri 1014, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
    2. repec:fth:prinin:462 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Takeshima, Hiroyuki & Nkonya, Ephraim M. & Deb, Sayon, 2012. "Impact of fertilizer subsidies on the commercial fertilizer sector in Nigeria:: Evidence from previous fertilizer subsidy schemes," NSSP working papers, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) 23, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Dewar, Diane M., 1998. "Do those with more formal education have better health insurance opportunities?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 267-277, June.


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