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Schools, Ability, and the Socioeconomic Gradient in Education Choices

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  • Torberg Falch
  • Bjarne Strom

Abstract

This paper provides evidence on the socioeconomic gradient in dropout and progression in upper secondary education in Norway. Using a rich data set covering all students transferring from compulsory education to upper secondary education in 2002, we find that student achievement at the end of compulsory school is the main predictor of dropout and delayed progression. The socioeconomic gradient is sensitive to the inclusion of prior achievement in the model. We find that the gradient is modest and non-linear, and related to dropout behavior and not grade repetition. The results are remarkably robust to controlling for a full set of school fixed effects.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2011/wp-cesifo-2011-01/cesifo1_wp3313.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3313.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3313

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Keywords: high school dropout; socioeconomic gradient; student achievement;

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  1. Falch, Torberg & Strom, Bjarne, 2005. "Contents continuedTeacher turnover and non-pecuniary factors," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 758-758, July.
  2. Philippe Belley & Lance Lochner, 2008. "The Changing Role of Family Income and Ability in Determining Educational Achievement," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20081, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  3. Pedro Carneiro & James J. Heckman, 2002. "The Evidence on Credit Constraints in Post--secondary Schooling," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 705-734, October.
  4. Murnane, Richard J & Maynard, Rebecca A & Ohls, James C, 1981. "Home Resources and Children's Achievement," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(3), pages 369-77, August.
  5. Flavio Cunha & James Heckman & Susanne Schennach, 2010. "Estimating the technology of cognitive and noncognitive skill formation," CeMMAP working papers CWP09/10, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  6. Patricia Rice, 1999. "The impact of local labour markets on investment in further education: Evidence from the England and Wales youth cohort studies," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 287-312.
  7. Traag Tanja & Velden Rolf K.W. van der, 2008. "Early school-leaving in the Netherlands," ROA Research Memorandum 003, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  8. Aakvik, Arild & Salvanes, Kjell G. & Vaage, Kjell, 2010. "Measuring heterogeneity in the returns to education using an education reform," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 483-500, May.
  9. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2010. "Investing in Our Young People," NBER Working Papers 16201, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance John & Masterov, Dimitriy V., 2005. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," IZA Discussion Papers 1675, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352.
  12. Oddbjørn Raaum & Kjell G. Salvanes & Erik O. Sørensen, 2006. "The Neighbourhood is Not What it Used to be," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(508), pages 200-222, 01.
  13. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2003. "On The Specification and Estimation of The Production Function for Cognitive Achievement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F3-F33, February.
  14. Trostel, Philip & Walker, Ian & Woolley, Paul, 2002. "Estimates of the economic return to schooling for 28 countries," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 1-16, February.
  15. Gary Solon & Marianne E. Page & Greg J. Duncan, 2000. "Correlations Between Neighboring Children In Their Subsequent Educational Attainment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 383-392, August.
  16. Steve Bradley & Pam Lenton, 2007. "Dropping out of post-compulsory education in the UK: an analysis of determinants and outcomes," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 299-328, April.
  17. Lena Lindahl, 2011. "A comparison of family and neighborhood effects on grades, test scores, educational attainment and income—evidence from Sweden," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 207-226, June.
  18. 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.
  19. Maani, Sholeh A. & Kalb, Guyonne, 2007. "Academic performance, childhood economic resources, and the choice to leave school at age 16," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 361-374, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Bjarne Strøm & Torberg Falch & Päivi Lujala, 2011. "Geographical constraints and educational attainment," Working Paper Series 11811, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
  2. Eric Bettinger & Torbjørn Hægeland & Mari Rege, 2013. "Home with Mom: The effects of stay-at-home parents on children’s long-run educational outcomes," Discussion Papers 739, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  3. Brugård, Kaja Høiseth & Falch, Torberg, 2013. "Post-compulsory education and imprisonment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 97-106.

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