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Is the GED an Effective Route to Postsecondary Education for School Dropouts?

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Author Info

  • Tyler, John

    ()
    (Brown University)

  • Lofstrom, Magnus

    ()
    (Public Policy Institute of California)

Abstract

We use data from the Texas Schools Microdata Panel (TSMP) to examine the extent to which dropouts use the GED as a route to post-secondary education. The paper develops a model pointing out the potential biases in estimating the effects of taking the “GED path” to postsecondary education. Lacking suitable instruments that would allow us to directly address potential biases, our approach is to base our estimates on a set of academically “at risk” students who are very similar in the 8th grade. We observe that the eventual high school graduates in this group have much better postsecondary education outcomes than do the similar at-risk 8th graders who dropped out and obtained a GED. Our model explains the observed differences, and allows for a discussion of the policy challenges inherent in improving the postsecondary outcomes of dropouts.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3297.

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Length: 60 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economics of Education Review, 2010, 29 (5), 813–825
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3297

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Keywords: dropouts; post-secondary education; GED;

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References

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  1. John H. Tyler & Magnus Lofstrom, 2008. "Is the GED an Effective Route to Postsecondary Education for School Dropouts?," NBER Working Papers 13816, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Tyler, John H. & Murnane, Richard J. & Willett, John B., 2003. "Who benefits from a GED? Evidence for females from High School and Beyond," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 237-247, June.
  3. Yona Rubinstein & James J. Heckman, 2001. "The Importance of Noncognitive Skills: Lessons from the GED Testing Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 145-149, May.
  4. Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett & John H. Tyler, 1999. "Who Benefits from Obtaining a GED? Evidence from High School and Beyond," NBER Working Papers 7172, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. John H. Tyler & Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett, 2000. "Estimating The Labor Market Signaling Value Of The GED," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 431-468, May.
  6. Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett & Kathryn Parker Boudett, 1997. "Does Acquisition of a GED Lead to More Training, Post-Secondary Education, and Military Service for School Dropouts?," NBER Working Papers 5992, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. John H. Tyler, 2004. "Does the G.E.D. improve earnings? Estimates from a sample of both successful and unsuccessful G.E.D. candidates," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 57(4), pages 579-598, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Tyler, John & Lofstrom, Magnus, 2010. "Is the GED an effective route to postsecondary education for school dropouts?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 813-825, October.
  2. Lofstrom, Magnus, 2007. "Why Are Hispanic and African-American Dropout Rates So High?," IZA Discussion Papers 3265, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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