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The economic determinants of truancy

  • Simon Burgess
  • Karen Gardiner
  • Carol Propper

Truancy is often seen as irrational behaviour on the part of school age youth. This paper takes the opposite view and models truancy as the solution to a time allocation problem in which youths derive current returns from activities that reduce time spent at school. The model is estimated using a US panel dataset, the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979, and the estimation allows for the possible endogeneity of returns from these competing activities. The results show that truancy is a function of the estimated economic returns from work, crime and school.

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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 6379.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:6379
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  1. Christian Dustmann & Najma Rajah & Stephen Smith, 1997. "Teenage truancy, part-time working and wages," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 425-442.
  2. V. Joseph Hotz & Lixin Xu & Marta Tienda & Avner Ahituv, 1999. "Are There Returns to the Wages of Young Men from Working While in School?," NBER Working Papers 7289, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Zvi Eckstein & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1999. "Why Youths Drop Out of High School: The Impact of Preferences, Opportunities, and Abilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(6), pages 1295-1340, November.
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