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Does Acquisition of a GED Lead to More Training, Post-Secondary Education, and Military Service for School Dropouts?

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  • Richard J. Murnane
  • John B. Willett
  • Kathryn Parker Boudett

Abstract

This paper uses longitudinal data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to examine whether acquisition of a GED increases the probability that male and female school dropouts obtain training, post-secondary education, or military service. Random effects probit models are used to account for both the dichotomous nature of the dependent variables and non-zero correlations among error terms pertaining to different years of data for the same individual. We find that acquisition of a GED increases the probability that school dropouts obtain post-secondary education and the probability that they obtain non-company training, defined as training provided by government or by proprietary schools. However, it is still the case that the majority of GED recipients obtain no post-secondary education or training through the age of 26.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett & Kathryn Parker Boudett, 1997. "Does Acquisition of a GED Lead to More Training, Post-Secondary Education, and Military Service for School Dropouts?," NBER Working Papers 5992, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5992
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    1. Stephen Cameron & James J. Heckman, 1994. "Determinants of Young Males' Schooling and Training Choices," NBER Chapters,in: Training and the Private Sector: International Comparisons, pages 201-232 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. McDonald, John F & Moffitt, Robert A, 1980. "The Uses of Tobit Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(2), pages 318-321, May.
    3. 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.
    4. Murnane, Richard J & Willett, John B & Levy, Frank, 1995. "The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(2), pages 251-266, May.
    5. Butler, J S & Moffitt, Robert, 1982. "A Computationally Efficient Quadrature Procedure for the One-Factor Multinomial Probit Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 761-764, May.
    6. Lynch, Lisa M, 1992. "Private-Sector Training and the Earnings of Young Workers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 299-312, March.
    7. Michael Spence, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-374.
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    Cited by:

    1. Heckman, James J. & Humphries, John Eric & Mader, Nicholas S., 2011. "The GED," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
      • James J. Heckman & John Eric Humphries & Nicholas S. Mader, 2010. "The GED," NBER Working Papers 16064, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
      • Heckman, James J. & Humphries, John Eric & Mader, Nicholas S., 2010. "The GED," IZA Discussion Papers 4975, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. 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.
    3. Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett & John H. Tyler, 2000. "Who Benefits from Obtaining a GED? Evidence from High School and Beyond," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(1), pages 23-37, February.
    4. Rumberger, Russell W. & Lamb, Stephen P., 2003. "The early employment and further education experiences of high school dropouts: a comparative study of the United States and Australia," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 353-366, August.
    5. Carlos Peraita & Margarita Pastor, 2000. "The Primary School Dropout in Spain: The Influence of Family Background and Labor Market Conditions," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(2), pages 157-168.
    6. John H. Tyler & Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett, 1998. "Estimating the Impact of the GED on the Earnings of Young Dropouts Using a Series of Natural Experiments," NBER Working Papers 6391, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Fairlie, Robert W., 2005. "The effects of home computers on school enrollment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 533-547, October.

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