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Gone for Good? Determinants of School Dropout in Southern Italy

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Author Info

  • O'Higgins, Niall

    ()
    (University of Salerno)

  • D'Amato, Marcello

    ()
    (University of Salerno)

  • Caroleo, Floro Ernesto

    ()
    (University of Naples Parthenope)

  • Barone, Adriana

    ()
    (University of Salerno)

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 outside (in the unskilled market). Analysis of the data confirms the role of both economic capacity (opportunity costs) and 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

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3292.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia, 2007, 66(2), 207-246
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3292

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Keywords: human capital; school dropout; young people;

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References

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  1. Angrist, Joshua D & Krueger, Alan B, 1991. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 979-1014, November.
  2. Oreopoulos, Philip, 2007. "Do dropouts drop out too soon? Wealth, health and happiness from compulsory schooling," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 91(11-12), pages 2213-2229, December.
  3. Mookherjee, Dilip & Ray, Debraj, 2002. "Persistent Inequality," Discussion Paper, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University 57, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  4. Luca Flabbi & Daniele Checchi, 2007. "Intergenerational Mobility and Schooling Decisions in Germany and Italy: the Impact of Secondary School Tracks," Working Papers, Georgetown University, Department of Economics gueconwpa~07-07-08, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  5. 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.
  6. Eric A. Hanushek & Victor Lavy & Kohtaro Hitomi, 2008. "Do Students Care about School Quality? Determinants of Dropout Behavior in Developing Countries," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(1), pages 69-105.
  7. David Card, 2000. "Estimating the Return to Schooling: Progress on Some Persistent Econometric Problems," NBER Working Papers 7769, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro, 2003. "Human Capital Policy," NBER Working Papers 9495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J., 2002. "The Evidence on Credit Constraints in Post-Secondary Schooling," IZA Discussion Papers 518, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Lance Lochner & Enrico Moretti, 2001. "The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self-Reports," NBER Working Papers 8605, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Cardoso, Ana Rute & Verner, Dorte, 2007. "School drop-out and push-out factors in Brazil : the role of early parenthood, child labor, and poverty," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4178, The World Bank.
  12. 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.
  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. Richard Blundell & Lorraine Dearden & Barbara Sianesi, 2004. "Evaluating the impact of education on earnings in the UK: models, methods and results from the NCDS," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library 19451, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  15. Daniele Checchi & Francesco Zollino, 2001. "Sistema scolastico e selezione sociale in Italia," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, SIPI Spa, vol. 91(6), pages 43-84, July-Augu.
  16. Zvi Eckstein & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1999. "Why Youths Drop Out of High School: The Impact of Preferences, Opportunities, and Abilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 67(6), pages 1295-1340, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Barone, Adriana & O'Higgins, Niall, 2009. "Fat and Out in Salerno and Province: Adolescent Obesity and Early School Leaving in Southern Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 4229, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Checchi Daniele, 2010. "Educational achievements and social origins in Italy," Politica economica, Società editrice il Mulino, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 3, pages 359-388.
  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. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

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