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Does school time matter?—On the impact of compulsory education age on school dropout

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  • Cabus, Sofie J.
  • De Witte, Kristof

Abstract

A straightforward way to prevent students from leaving education without a higher secondary diploma is increasing the compulsory education age. The idea is that, by staying longer in school, more students eventually obtain a higher secondary diploma. This paper examines the impact of a one-year increase in compulsory school-age on dropping out of secondary education by a difference-in-differences analysis. For this, we exploit a recent compulsory education policy reform in the Netherlands. After controlling for confounding factors and observable covariates, we find that the one year increase in compulsory school-age reduces dropout by 2.5 percentage points. The effect, however, is entirely situated in the group non-liable to the policy reform. We observe that native Dutch vocational students, mostly without retention in grade, but also without a higher secondary diploma at hand, more often left school in the immediate period before the policy reform. Given the economic revival at that time, this may reflect anticipation of labor market opportunities.

Suggested Citation

  • Cabus, Sofie J. & De Witte, Kristof, 2011. "Does school time matter?—On the impact of compulsory education age on school dropout," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1384-1398.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:30:y:2011:i:6:p:1384-1398
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2011.07.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Figlio, D. & Karbownik, K. & Salvanes, K.G., 2016. "Education Research and Administrative Data," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    2. Cabus, Sofie J. & De Witte, Kristof, 2012. "Naming and shaming in a ‘fair’ way. On disentangling the influence of policy in observed outcomes," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 767-787.
    3. repec:spr:series:v:8:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s13209-017-0167-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Sansani, Shahar, 2015. "The differential impact of compulsory schooling laws on school quality in the United States segregated South," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 64-75.
    5. Brunello, Giorgio & De Paola, Maria, 2013. "The Costs of Early School Leaving in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 7791, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Anna Adamecz-Volgyi, 2018. "Increased Compulsory School Leaving Age Affects Secondary School Track Choice and Increases Dropout Rates in Vocational Training Schools," Budapest Working Papers on the Labour Market 1801, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Compulsory education age; Difference-in-differences; School dropout;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models

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