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Why Are Hispanic and African-American Dropout Rates So High?

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  • Lofstrom, Magnus

    (Public Policy Institute of California)

Abstract

The proportion of students who do not graduate from high school is dramatically higher among the two largest minority groups, Hispanics and African-Americans, compared to non-Hispanic whites. In this paper we utilize unique student-level data from the Texas Schools Microdata Panel (TSMP) in an attempt to determine what factors contribute to the higher minority dropout rates. We show that poverty is a key contributor. Lack of English proficiency among Hispanic student is linked to the higher Hispanic dropout probability. Our results also suggest that neighborhood characteristics may be important in explaining the high African-American dropout rates. We also address the issue of the surprisingly low official dropout rates reported by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and show that the GED program explains some of the discrepancy.

Suggested Citation

  • Lofstrom, Magnus, 2007. "Why Are Hispanic and African-American Dropout Rates So High?," IZA Discussion Papers 3265, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3265
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stephen V. Cameron & James J. Heckman, 1998. "Life Cycle Schooling and Dynamic Selection Bias: Models and Evidence for Five Cohorts of American Males," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(2), pages 262-333, April.
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    3. Hanushek, Eric A., 2006. "School Resources," Handbook of the Economics of Education, in: Erik Hanushek & F. Welch (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Education, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 14, pages 865-908, Elsevier.
    4. Cameron, Stephen V & Heckman, James J, 1993. "The Nonequivalence of High School Equivalents," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages 1-47, January.
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    6. Tyler, John & Lofstrom, Magnus, 2010. "Is the GED an effective route to postsecondary education for school dropouts?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 813-825, October.
    7. Colding, Bjorg, 2006. "A dynamic analysis of educational progression of children of immigrants," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 479-492, August.
    8. Stephen V. Cameron & James J. Heckman, 2001. "The Dynamics of Educational Attainment for Black, Hispanic, and White Males," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 455-499, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tim H. Gindling & Sara Z. Poggio, 2008. "Family Separation and Reunification as a Factor in the Educational Success of Immigrant Children," UMBC Economics Department Working Papers 09-104, UMBC Department of Economics.
    2. Bradley, Steve & Migali, Giuseppe, 2019. "The effects of the 2006 tuition fee reform and the Great Recession on university student dropout behaviour in the UK," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 331-356.
    3. Nathan Berg & Teresa D. Nelson, 2016. "Pregnancy and Dropout: Effects of Family, Neighborhood, and High School Characteristics on Girls’ Fertility and Dropout Status," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 35(6), pages 757-789, December.
    4. Rossella Iraci Capuccinello & Steve Bradley, 2014. "The effect of college mergers on student dropout behaviour," Working Papers 64907218, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    5. Gindling, T. H. & Poggio, Sara Z., 2010. "The Effect of Family Separation and Reunification on the Educational Success of Immigrant Children in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 4887, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Rossella Iraci Capuccinello, 2014. "Determinants and timing of dropping out decisions: evidence from the UK FE sector," Working Papers 15742191, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    7. Steve Bradley & Giuseppe Migali, 2015. "The Effect of a Tuition Fee Reform on the Risk of Drop Out from University in the UK," Working Papers 86010138, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    dropout rate; educational attainment;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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