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Skills, standards, and disabilities: How youth with learning disabilities fare in high school and beyond

  • McGee, Andrew

Learning disabled youth in the Child and Young Adult samples of the NLSY79 are more likely to graduate from high school than peers with the same measured cognitive ability, a difference that cannot be explained by differences in noncognitive skills, families, or school resources. Instead, I find that learning disabled students graduate from high school at higher rates than youth with the same cognitive abilities because of high school graduation policies that make it easier for learning disabled youth to obtain a high school diploma. The effects of these graduation policies are even more remarkable given that I find evidence that learning disabled youth have less unmeasured human capital than observationally equivalent youth as after high school they are less likely to be employed or continue on to college and earn less than their observationally equivalent non-learning disabled peers.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VB9-50R6KF4-1/2/570d39cce9162cf11365ba0ffc356f73
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

Volume (Year): 30 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 109-129

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:30:y:2011:i:1:p:109-129
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

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  1. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 2002. "Inferring Program Effects for Special Populations: Does Special Education Raise Achievement for Students with Disabilities?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(4), pages 584-599, November.
  2. Jason Fletcher & Barbara L. Wolfe, 2007. "Child Mental Health and Human Capital Accumulation: The Case of ADHD Revisited," NBER Working Papers 13474, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Blakemore, Arthur E. & Low, Stuart A., 1984. "The high-school dropout decision and its wage consequences," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 111-119, April.
  4. Elizabeth Dhuey Stephen Lipscomb, 2010. "Disabled or Young Relative Age and Special Education Diagnoses in Schools," Mathematica Policy Research Reports decdd44a894e4c97b6afe31e4, Mathematica Policy Research.
  5. Elder, Todd E., 2010. "The importance of relative standards in ADHD diagnoses: Evidence based on exact birth dates," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 641-656, September.
  6. Lillard, Dean R. & DeCicca, Philip P., 2001. "Higher standards, more dropouts? Evidence within and across time," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 459-473, October.
  7. Janet Currie & Mark Stabile, 2007. "Mental Health in Childhood and Human Capital," NBER Chapters, in: The Problems of Disadvantaged Youth: An Economic Perspective, pages 115-148 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Greene, Jay P. & Winters, Marcus A., 2009. "The effects of exemptions to Florida's test-based promotion policy: Who is retained?: Who benefits academically?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 135-142, February.
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