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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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    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. Figlio, D. & Karbownik, K. & Salvanes, K.G., 2016. "Education Research and Administrative Data," Handbook of the Economics of Education,, Elsevier.
    4. Giovanni Luca & Paolo Mazzocchi & Claudio Quintano & Antonella Rocca, 2020. "Going Behind the High Rates of NEETs in Italy and Spain: The Role of Early School Leavers," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 151(1), pages 345-363, August.
    5. José A. Robles-Zurita, 2017. "Cognitive skills and the LOGSE reform in Spain: evidence from PIAAC," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 401-415, November.
    6. Blane D. Lewis & Hieu T. M. Nguyen, 2018. "Policy failure and educational attainment in Indonesia," Departmental Working Papers 2018-17, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
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    8. Brunello, Giorgio & De Paola, Maria, 2013. "The Costs of Early School Leaving in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 7791, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Youwei Wang & Yuxin Chen & Yi Qian, 2018. "The Causal Link between Relative Age Effect and Entrepreneurship: Evidence from 17 Million Users across 49 Years on Taobao," NBER Working Papers 25318, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. 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.
    11. Vinas-Forcade, Jennifer & Mels, Cindy & Valcke, Martin & Derluyn, Ilse, 2019. "Beyond academics: Dropout prevention summer school programs in the transition to secondary education," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 1-1.
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    13. Hofmarcher, Thomas, 2019. "The Effect of Education on Poverty: A European Perspective," Working Papers 2019:9, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    14. 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.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Compulsory education age; Difference-in-differences; School dropout;
    All these keywords.

    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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