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The Effect of High School Exit Exams on Graduation, Employment, Wages and Incarceration

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  • Olesya Baker
  • Kevin Lang

Abstract

We evaluate the effects of high school exit exams on high school graduation, incarceration, employment and wages. We construct a state/graduation-cohort dataset using the Current Population Survey, Census and information on exit exams. We find relatively modest effects of high school exit exams except on incarceration. Exams assessing academic skills below the high school level have little effect. However, more challenging standards-based exams reduce graduation and increase incarceration rates. About half the reduction in graduation rates is offset by increased GED receipt. We find no consistent effects of exit exams on employment or the distribution of wages.

Suggested Citation

  • Olesya Baker & Kevin Lang, 2013. "The Effect of High School Exit Exams on Graduation, Employment, Wages and Incarceration," NBER Working Papers 19182, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19182
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stephen G. Donald & Kevin Lang, 2007. "Inference with Difference-in-Differences and Other Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 221-233, May.
    2. Bishop, John H. & Mane, Ferran, 2001. "The impacts of minimum competency exam graduation requirements on high school graduation, college attendance and early labor market success," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 203-222, May.
    3. Dickins, William T, 1990. "Error Components in Grouped Data: Is It Ever Worth Weighting?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 328-333, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nordin , Martin & Heckley , Gawain & Gerdtham , Ulf-G, 2017. "Impact of a Tertiary Eligibility Threshold on Tertiary Education and Earnings: A Discontinuity Approach," Working Papers 2017:12, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    2. Schwerdt, Guido & Woessmann, Ludger, 2017. "The information value of central school exams," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 65-79.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs

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