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Bias-Corrected Estimates of GED Returns

Author

Listed:
  • James J. Heckman

    (University of Chicago and American Bar Foundation)

  • Paul A. LaFontaine

    (Center for Social Program Evaluation, American Bar Foundation)

Abstract

Using three sources of data, this article examines the direct economic return to General Educational Development (GED) certification for both native and immigrant high school dropouts. One data source—the Current Population Survey (CPS)—is plagued by nonresponse and allocation bias from the hot deck procedure that biases the estimated return to the GED upward. Correcting for allocation bias and ability bias, there is no direct economic return to GED certification. An apparent return to GED certification with age found in the raw CPS data is due to dropouts becoming more skilled over time. These results apply to both native-born and immigrant populations.

Suggested Citation

  • James J. Heckman & Paul A. LaFontaine, 2006. "Bias-Corrected Estimates of GED Returns," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 661-700, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:24:y:2006:i:3:p:661-700
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Melissa Clark & David Jaeger, 2006. "Natives, the foreign-born and high school equivalents: new evidence on the returns to the GED," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 19(4), pages 769-793, October.
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    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis

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