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Childhood Economic Resources, Academic Performance and the Choice to Leave School at Age Sixteen

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  • Sholeh A. Maani

    ()
    (Department of Economics, The University of Auckland)

  • Guyonne Kalb

    ()
    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

Abstract

This paper uses a recent panel data set from New Zealand to examine the link between academic performance and the decision of teenagers to leave school. These choices have significant lifetime economic impacts, since early school leaving in many cases closes pathways to further education. We address the potential endogeneity and error correlation of academic performance and later school-leaving choices. The results show that schooling decisions largely represent personal choice, and that they are influenced by factors that are at work for a long period of time. Personal ability, parental education and income during early and later childhood years influence the demand for education, exerting their influence directly and through academic performance. These results point to the role that academic performance could play in breaking cycles of disadvantage.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne in its series Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series with number wp2003n01.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2003n01

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Postal: Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 Australia
Phone: +61 3 8344 2100
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Web page: http://www.melbourneinstitute.com/
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  1. Ermisch, John F & Francesconi, Marco, 1997. "Family Matters," CEPR Discussion Papers 1591, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Paul Gregg & Stephen Machin, 2000. "Child Development and Success or Failure in the Youth Labor Market," NBER Chapters, in: Youth Employment and Joblessness in Advanced Countries, pages 247-288 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Borjas, George J, 1995. "Ethnicity, Neighborhoods, and Human-Capital Externalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 365-90, June.
  4. Borland, Jeff & Wilkins, Roger, 1996. "Earnings Inequality in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 72(216), pages 7-23, March.
  5. Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 1995. "The Determinants of Children's Attainments: A Review of Methods and Findings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1829-1878, December.
  6. David M. Blau, 1999. "The Effect Of Income On Child Development," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 261-276, May.
  7. Feinstein, Leon & Symons, James, 1999. "Attainment in Secondary School," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(2), pages 300-321, April.
  8. Case, A.C. & Katz, L.F., 1991. "The Company You Keep: The Effects Of Family And Neighborhood On Disadvantaged Younths," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1555, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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