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The compelling effects of compulsory schooling: evidence from Canada


  • Philip Oreopoulos


Compulsory school laws have existed for more than a hundred years, and policies to mandate further education continue to be discussed. The implications of these laws, however, are not well understood. Historical changes to compulsory schooling in Canada permit an examination of their effects on would-be-dropouts under very different circumstances than those during changes in other countries. Mandating education substantially increased adult income and substantially decreased the likelihood of being below the low-income cut-off unemployed, and in a manual occupation. These findings suggest significant gains from this legislation, which seem unlikely offset by the costs incurred while having to remain in school.

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  • Philip Oreopoulos, 2006. "The compelling effects of compulsory schooling: evidence from Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 39(1), pages 22-52, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:39:y:2006:i:1:p:22-52

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    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy


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