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Re-examining the Impact of Dropping Out on Criminal and Labor Outcomes in Early Adulthood

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  • Bjerk, David J.

    () (Claremont McKenna College)

Abstract

This paper shows that while high school dropouts fare far worse on average than otherwise similar high school completers in early adulthood outcomes such as success in the labor market and future criminal activity, there are important differences within this group of dropouts. Notably, those who feel "pulled" out of school (i.e, they say they dropped out of school to work or take care of family) do similarly with respect to labor market and criminal outcomes in their early twenties to individuals with similar pre-dropout characteristics who complete high school. It is only those who feel they are more "pushed" out of school (i.e, they say they drop out for other reasons including expulsion, poor grades, moving, and not liking school) who do substantially worse than otherwise similar high school completers. These results suggest that any detrimental impacts from dropping out of school arise primarily when the drop out does not have a plan for how to use his time after dropping out.

Suggested Citation

  • Bjerk, David J., 2011. "Re-examining the Impact of Dropping Out on Criminal and Labor Outcomes in Early Adulthood," IZA Discussion Papers 5995, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5995
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    Cited by:

    1. Anderson, D. Mark & Hansen, Benjamin & Walker, Mary Beth, 2013. "The minimum dropout age and student victimization," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 66-74.
    2. Anderson, D. Mark & Lochner, Lance, 2016. "Introduction to the Special Issue on Education and Crime," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 211-213.
    3. Marcotte, Dave E., 2013. "High school dropout and teen childbearing," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 258-268.
    4. Basu Sukanya & Insler Michael, 2017. "Education Outcomes of Children of Asian Intermarriages: Does Gender of the Immigrant Parent Matter?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 17(1), pages 1-21, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    earnings; wages; crime; dropouts; idleness;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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