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Does it pay for Indigenous youth to go to school? Variation in the predicted economic benefits of High School


  • Nicholas Biddle

    () (Australian National University)


Indigenous Australians are less likely to complete high school than non-Indigenous Australians. One reason for this may be differences in the income and employment incentives to do so. This paper provides evidence on the predicted economic benefits of education using data from the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, focusing on variation within the Indigenous population. The paper finds the difference in employment outcomes by high school education to be smaller for those in remote areas than those in non-remote areas, however once employed the relative effect on income varies by the particular education comparison. The income benefits of education are low for those in both CDEP and non-CDEP employment, showing that for Indigenous Australians, one of the biggest economic benefits of completing high school appears to be the ability to find a non-CDEP job.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicholas Biddle, 2006. "Does it pay for Indigenous youth to go to school? Variation in the predicted economic benefits of High School," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 9(2), pages 173-199, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ozl:journl:v:9:y:2006:i:2:p:173-199

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    More about this item


    Education; Economics of Minorities and Races; Non-labor Discrimination; Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials by Skill; Training; Occupation; etc.;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials


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