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Dropout, School Performance and Working while in School : An Econometric Model with Heterogeneous Groups


  • Marcel Dagenais
  • Claude Montmarquette
  • Nathalie Viennot-Briot


We develop an econometric model where the determinants of work while in school, dropout and academic grades are set in the context of two types of high school students: those who favor schooling and those who are more inclined to access rapidly the labor market. The individuals contributions to the likelihood function of this heterogeneous groups model are made or 48 terms of a standard quadrivariate normal function. Exploiting a unique Canadian microdata set of high school leavers, we show that being a female student, attending a private school and being part of a family of better educated parents matter to identify a high school student's preference for schooling over the labor market. We also found that working less than 15 hours per week while in school is not necessarily detrimental to success in school; that legal age to access the labor market is important in the decision to dropout; that high minimum wages are incremental for many students to dropout; and that low unemployment rates encourage dropout. Several policies aim to reduce dropout are derived from our results. Exploitant les données d'une enquête canadienne sur les sortants de l'école secondaire, nous trouvons que les déterminants de la performance scolaire, les déterminants de la décision de travailler ou non pendant les études secondaires et celle d'abandonner ou non l'école doivent prendre en considération l'existence de deux groupes distincts d'étudiants. Un premier groupe d'étudiants privilégie la scolarisation et la performance scolaire plutôt que le marché du travail. Le second groupe considère l'accès rapide au marché du travail comme prioritaire aux études et succès scolaire. En supposant que les termes d'erreurs des équations de ce modèle avec groupes hétérogènes sont corrélés, nous aboutissons à une série de termes d'un normale quadrivariée comme éléments de la fonction de vraisemblance de ce modèle. Les résultats économétriques montrent que d'être une femme, fréquenté une école privée et avoir des parents scolarisés augmentent la probabilité d'appartenir au groupe d'étudiants privilégiant les études. De plus, nous trouvons que travailler moins de 15 heures par semaines pendant les études a relativement peu d'effet sur la probabilité d'abandonner les études secondaires, que l'âge légal d'accès au marché du travail importe dans la décision d'abandon, que les salaires minimums influencent cette décision de même que la situation courante sur le marché du travail. Nous tirons de ce résultat plusieurs politiques d'intervention visant à réduire l'abandon des études secondaires.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcel Dagenais & Claude Montmarquette & Nathalie Viennot-Briot, 2001. "Dropout, School Performance and Working while in School : An Econometric Model with Heterogeneous Groups," CIRANO Working Papers 2001s-63, CIRANO.
  • Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2001s-63

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nathalie de Marcellis-Warin & Erwann Michel-Kerjan, 2001. "The Public-Private Sector Risk-Sharing in the French Insurance "Cat. Nat. System"""," CIRANO Working Papers 2001s-60, CIRANO.
    2. Marc Brisson & Bryan Campbell & John Galbraith, 2001. "Forecasting Some Low-Predictability Time Series Using Diffusion Indices," CIRANO Working Papers 2001s-46, CIRANO.
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    Cited by:

    1. Steven Bradley & Robert Crouchley, 2017. "The effects of test scores and truancy on youth unemployment and inactivity: A simultaneous equations approach," Working Papers 189398493, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    2. Marcelin Joanis, 2002. "L'économie de l'éducation: méthodologies, constats et leçons," CIRANO Working Papers 2002s-70, CIRANO.

    More about this item


    School dropout; hours of work during study; grades; model with heterogeneous groups; Abandon scolaire; travail pendant les études; performance; modèle avec groupes hétérogènes;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • C5 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling
    • H0 - Public Economics - - General

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