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

  • Lofstrom, Magnus

    ()

    (Public Policy Institute of California)

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.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp3265.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3265.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Williams Review, 2007, 2, 91-121
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3265
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  1. Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 1995. "The Determinants of Children's Attainments: A Review of Methods and Findings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1829-1878, December.
  2. Hanushek, Eric A., 2006. "School Resources," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  3. Julian R. Betts & Magnus Lofstrom, 1998. "The Educational Attainment of Immigrants: Trends and Implications," NBER Working Papers 6757, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Stephen V. Cameron & James J. Heckman, 1991. "The Nonequivalence of High School Equivalents," NBER Working Papers 3804, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Tyler, John & Lofstrom, Magnus, 2008. "Is the GED an Effective Route to Postsecondary Education for School Dropouts?," IZA Discussion Papers 3297, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. 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.
  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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