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Re-examining the Impact of Dropping Out on Criminal and Labor Outcomes in Early Adulthood

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Author Info

  • Bjerk, David

    ()
    (Claremont McKenna College)

Abstract

This paper shows that while high school dropouts fare far worse on average than otherwise similar high school completers in early adulthood outcomes such as success in the labor market and future criminal activity, there are important differences within this group of dropouts. Notably, those who feel "pulled" out of school (i.e, they say they dropped out of school to work or take care of family) do similarly with respect to labor market and criminal outcomes in their early twenties to individuals with similar pre-dropout characteristics who complete high school. It is only those who feel they are more "pushed" out of school (i.e, they say they drop out for other reasons including expulsion, poor grades, moving, and not liking school) who do substantially worse than otherwise similar high school completers. These results suggest that any detrimental impacts from dropping out of school arise primarily when the drop out does not have a plan for how to use his time after dropping out.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5995.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economics of Education Review, 2012, 31 (1), 110-122
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5995

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Keywords: earnings; wages; crime; dropouts; idleness;

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References

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  1. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2003. "Are Idle Hands the Devil's Workshop? Incapacitation, Concentration and Juvenile Crime," NBER Working Papers 9653, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Neal, Derek A & Johnson, William R, 1996. "The Role of Premarket Factors in Black-White Wage Differences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 869-95, October.
  3. Lance Lochner & Enrico Moretti, 2004. "The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self-Reports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 155-189, March.
  4. Chuang, Hwei-Lin, 1997. "High school youths' dropout and re-enrollment behavior," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 171-186, April.
  5. Alberto Abadie & David Drukker & Jane Leber Herr & Guido W. Imbens, 2004. "Implementing matching estimators for average treatment effects in Stata," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(3), pages 290-311, September.
  6. Chevalier, Arnaud & Harmon, Colm & Walker, Ian & Zhu, Yu, 2003. "Does Education Raise Productivity or Just Reflect It?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3993, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 1990. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," NBER Working Papers 3572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Philip Oreopoulos, 2003. "Do Dropouts Drop Out Too Soon? International Evidence From Changes in School-Leaving Laws," NBER Working Papers 10155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra, 1998. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 261-94, April.
  10. Zvi Eckstein & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1999. "Why Youths Drop Out of High School: The Impact of Preferences, Opportunities, and Abilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(6), pages 1295-1340, November.
  11. Amitabh Chandra, 2000. "Labor-Market Dropouts and the Racial Wage Gap: 1940-1990," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 333-338, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Marcotte, Dave E., 2013. "High school dropout and teen childbearing," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 258-268.
  2. Anderson, D. Mark & Hansen, Benjamin & Walker, Mary Beth, 2013. "The minimum dropout age and student victimization," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 66-74.

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