The Importance of Functional Literacy: Reading and Math Skills and Labour Market Outcomes of High School Drop-outs
This study assesses the effects of literacy and numeracy skills on the labour market outcomes of Canadian high school drop-outs. We find that these skills have significant effects on the probability of being employed and on hours and weeks of work for both men and women, and also have strong (direct) influences on men's, but not women's, incomes. These findings imply that high school curricula that develop literacy and numeracy skills could provide significant returns even for those who do not complete their programs and wind up at the lower end of the labour market. Our findings similarly suggest that training programs catering to drop-outs could substantially improve these individuals' labour market outcomes by developing these basic skills. The results also have implications for dual labour market theory, since it is often assumed that the secondary market is characterized by minimal returns to human capital'contrary to what is found here.
|Date of creation:||27 Mar 2006|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Tunney's Pasture, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0T6|
Web page: http://www.statcan.gc.ca
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Pryor,Frederic L. & Schaffer,David L., 1999. "Who's Not Working and Why," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521651523, November.
- Ross Finnie & Ronald Meng, 2001. "Cognitive skills and the youth labour market," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(10), pages 675-679.
- Arthur Sweetman & Gordon Dicks, 1999. "Education and Ethnicity in Canada: An Intergenerational Perspective," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(4), pages 668-696.
- Barry R. Chiswick, 1988. "Differences in Education and Earnings Across Racial and Ethnic Groups: Tastes, Discrimination, and Investments in Child Quality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(3), pages 571-597.
- Ross Finnie, 2002. "Minorities, Cognitive Skills and Incomes of Canadians," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 28(2), pages 257-273, June.
- Rivera-Batiz, Francisco L., 1990. "Literacy skills and the wages of young black and white males in the U.S," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 377-382, April.
- Louis Christofides, 1999.
"Social Assistance and Labour Supply,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
225, CESifo Group Munich.
- George J. Borjas, 1994. "Long-Run Convergence of Ethnic Skill Differentials," NBER Working Papers 4641, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett & Frank Levy, 1995.
"The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination,"
NBER Working Papers
5076, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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 251-66, May.
- Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
- John M. Abowd & Henry S. Farber, 1982. "Job Queues and the Union Status of Workers," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 35(3), pages 354-367, April.
- Michael Charette & Ronald Meng, 1994. "The Determinants of Welfare Participation of Female Heads of Household in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 27(2), pages 290-306, May.
- Francisco L. Rivera-Batiz, 1992. "Quantitative Literacy and the Likelihood of Employment among Young Adults in the United States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(2), pages 313-328.
- Neal, Derek A & Johnson, William R, 1996.
"The Role of Premarket Factors in Black-White Wage Differences,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 869-95, October.
- Derek A. Neal & William R. Johnson, 1995. "The Role of Pre-Market Factors in Black-White Wage Differences," NBER Working Papers 5124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gang, Ira N. & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1999.
"Is Child like Parent? Educational Attainment and Ethnic Origin,"
IZA Discussion Papers
57, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Ira N. Gang & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2000. "Is Child like Parent? Educational Attainment and Ethnic Origin," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(3), pages 550-569.
- Ira N. Gang & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 1999. "Is Child Like Parent? Educational Attainment and Ethnic Origin," Departmental Working Papers 199614, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
- Gang, Ira & Zimmermann, Klaus F, 1996. "Is Child Like Parent? Educational Attainment and Ethnic Origin," CEPR Discussion Papers 1461, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Green, David A & Riddell, W Craig, 1997. "Qualifying for Unemployment Insurance: An Empirical Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(440), pages 67-84, January.
- George J. Borjas, 1994. "Long-Run Convergence of Ethnic Skill Differentials: The Children and Grandchildren of the Great Migration," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(4), pages 553-573, July.
- Peter George & Peter Kuhn, 1994. "The Size and Structure of Native-White Wage Differentials in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 27(1), pages 20-42, February.
- Charette, Michael & Meng, Ronald, 1994. "Explaining language proficiency : Objective versus self-assessed measures of literacy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 313-321.
- David A Green & W Craig Riddell, . "Literacy, Numeracy and Labour Market Outcomes in Canada," Canadian International Labour Network Working Papers 47, McMaster University.
- Rivera-Batiz, Francisco L., 1990. "English language proficiency and the economic progress of immigrants," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 295-300, November.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:stc:stcp3e:2006275e. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Brown)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.