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Dropout, School Performance, and Working while in School


  • Claude Montmarquette

    (CIRANO and Department of Economics, University of Montreal)

  • Nathalie Viennot-Briot


  • Marcel Dagenais

    (CIRANO and Department of Economics, University of Montreal)


We develop an econometric model where the determinants of working while in school, academic performance, and the decision to drop out are set in the context of two types of high school students: those who prefer schooling and those who are more likely to join the labor market. The likelihood function of this model with heterogeneous preferences for schooling is composed of 48 individual contributions of a standard quadrivariate normal function. Exploiting a unique Canadian microdata set of high school students and school dropouts, we show that being a female student, attending a private school, and living with educated parents are linked to having a strong preference for schooling over the labor market. We also find that working fewer than fifteen hours per week while in school is not necessarily detrimental to success in school. Our results indicate that the decision to drop out is affected by the legal age to access the labor market, high minimum wages, and low unemployment rates. Several policies that aim at reducing the number of high school dropouts are identified. Copyright by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Claude Montmarquette & Nathalie Viennot-Briot & Marcel Dagenais, 2007. "Dropout, School Performance, and Working while in School," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(4), pages 752-760, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:89:y:2007:i:4:p:752-760

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Edwin Leuven & Hessel Oosterbeek, 2004. "Evaluating the Effect of Tax Deductions on Training," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 461-488, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Charles L. Baum & Christopher J. Ruhm, 2016. "The Changing Benefits of Early Work Experience," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 343-363, October.
    2. Thomson, Henry, 2013. "The Impact of Agriculture and Farm Produce Prices on Human Capital Formation: Education Decisions of Young Americans in Agricultural Areas Before and During the Food Crisis 2000-2010," Master's Theses 148745, University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics.
    3. Darolia, Rajeev, 2014. "Working (and studying) day and night: Heterogeneous effects of working on the academic performance of full-time and part-time students," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 38-50.
    4. Neyt, Brecht & Omey, Eddy & Verhaest, Dieter & Baert, Stijn, 2017. "Does Student Work Really Affect Educational Outcomes? A Review of the Literature," IZA Discussion Papers 11023, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Juan Guio & Álvaro Choi & Josep-Oriol Escardíbul, 2016. "Labor markets, academic performance and the risk of school dropout: evidence for Spain," Working Papers 2016/9, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    6. Franz Buscha & Arnaud Maurel & Lionel Page & Stefan Speckesser, 2007. "The Effect of High School Employment on Educational Attainment : A Conditional Difference-in-Differences Approach," Working Papers 2007-40, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    7. Cristina Lopez-Mayan, 2013. "Performance in Post-compulsory Education: Evidence from Vocational and Academic Tracks," Working Papers wpdea1302, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
    8. Driouchi, Ahmed, 2009. "Failure of Participation & “Missing Women” in South Mediterranean Economies," MPRA Paper 21541, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 22 Mar 2010.
    9. Beffy, Magali & Fougère, Denis & Maurel, Arnaud, 2013. "The Effect of College Employment on Graduation: Evidence from France," CEPR Discussion Papers 9565, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Rossella Iraci Capuccinello & Steve Bradley, 2014. "The effect of college mergers on student dropout behaviour," Working Papers 64907218, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    11. Magali Beffy & Denis Fougère & Arnaud Maurel, 2009. "L’impact du travail salarié des étudiants sur la réussite et la poursuite des études universitaires," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 422(1), pages 31-50.
    12. Bessey Donata & Backes-Gellner Uschi, 2015. "Staying Within or Leaving the Apprenticeship System? Revisions of Educational Choices in Apprenticeship Training," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 235(6), pages 539-552, December.
    13. Pengfei Jia & Tim Maloney, 2014. "Using Predictive Modelling to Identify Students at Risk of Poor University Outcomes," Working Papers 2014-03, Auckland University of Technology, Department of Economics.
    14. Rokicka, Magdalena, 2014. "The impact of students' part-time work on educational outcomes," ISER Working Paper Series 2014-42, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    15. Kalenkoski, Charlene Marie & Pabilonia, Sabrina Wulff, 2012. "Time to work or time to play: The effect of student employment on homework, sleep, and screen time," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 211-221.
    16. Shiyuan Chen & Sally Wallace, 2008. "Determinants of Education Duration in Jamaica," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0803, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    17. Sprietsma, Maresa, 2015. "Student employment: Advantage or handicap for academic achievement?," ZEW Discussion Papers 15-085, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    18. Kady Marie-Danielle Body & Liliane Bonnal & Jean-François Giret, 2014. "Does student employment really impact academic achievement? The case of France," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(25), pages 3061-3073, September.
    19. Cathleen Johnson & Claude Montmarquette, 2011. "Loan Aversion among Canadian High School Students," CIRANO Working Papers 2011s-67, CIRANO.

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