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The Unexpected Effects of No Pass, No Drive Policies on High School Education

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  • Kennedy, Kendall

Abstract

Since 1988, 27 states have introduced No Pass, No Drive laws, which tie a teenager’s ability to receive and maintain a driver’s license to various school-related outcomes -- most commonly, enrollment and attendance. Truancy-Based No Pass, No Drive policies target only attendance – teens that fail to meet a minimum attendance requirement lose their driver’s license. However, these policies allow students to drop out of school without facing this penalty. These policies increase the annual dropout rate by between 32 and 45 percent (1.4 to 2 percentage points). Enrollment-Based No Pass, No Drive policies, the largest group of policies, which target both enrollment and attendance, have negligible effects on dropout rates, but decrease the Averaged Freshman Graduation Rate (AFGR) by more than one percentage point. However, this lower graduation rate stems from students delaying their dropout decision by up to two years. As a result, these students are retained in the ninth and tenth grades, increasing ninth grade enrollment by 2.8 percent relative to eighth grade enrollment the year prior; this causes an artificial reduction in the graduation rate, rather than a reduction in the true likelihood that a student will graduate.

Suggested Citation

  • Kennedy, Kendall, 2018. "The Unexpected Effects of No Pass, No Drive Policies on High School Education," MPRA Paper 90453, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:90453
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dee, Thomas S., 2011. "Conditional cash penalties in education: Evidence from the Learnfare experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 924-937, October.
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    6. Rashmi Barua & Marian Vidal-Fernandez, 2014. "No Pass No Drive: Education and Allocation of Time," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(4), pages 399-431.
    7. D. Mark Anderson, 2014. "In School and Out of Trouble? The Minimum Dropout Age and Juvenile Crime," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(2), pages 318-331, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kennedy, Kendall & Shen, Danqing, 2020. "Education, Crowding-out, and Black-White Employment Gaps in Youth Labor Markets: Evidence from No Pass, No Drive Policies," MPRA Paper 103788, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Gregory Gilpin, 2018. "Licensure Provisions, Teen Licensing, and Vehicular Fatalities," CAEPR Working Papers 2018-010, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Department of Economics, Indiana University Bloomington.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    AFGR; Dropout Rate; Driver's License; Education; No Pass No Drive;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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