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Explaining low high school attainment in Northern Aboriginal Communities: An analysis of the Aboriginal Peoples’ Surveys

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  • Melanie O’Gorman
  • Manish Pandey

Abstract

Within the off-reserve Canadian Aboriginal population, high school graduation rates are about 45 percent lower in Northern communities (North) than the rest of Canada (South). Using data from the Aboriginal Peoples’ Surveys, we document that economic incentives do not appear to be important in explaining the North-South gap in graduation rates. We then consider individual-specific and schooling-related determinants of high school graduation and find that these factors can explain between 31 percent and 59 percent of the gap in the probability of graduation in 2000/2005. Further, much of the gap is attributable to a respondent speaking/understanding or being taught an Aboriginal language. We discuss the possible implications of these results for language and curricular programming in the North.

Suggested Citation

  • Melanie O’Gorman & Manish Pandey, 2015. "Explaining low high school attainment in Northern Aboriginal Communities: An analysis of the Aboriginal Peoples’ Surveys," Departmental Working Papers 2015-02, The University of Winnipeg, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:win:winwop:2015-02
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    1. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 2002. "The Effect of High School Matriculation Awards: Evidence from Randomized Trials," NBER Working Papers 9389, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Danielle Lamb, 2014. "Aboriginal Early School Leavers On- and Off-Reserve: An Empirical Analysis," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 40(2), pages 156-165, June.
    3. Daniel A. Powers & Hirotoshi Yoshioka & Myeong-Su Yun, 2011. "mvdcmp: Multivariate decomposition for nonlinear response models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 11(4), pages 556-576, December.
    4. Zvi Eckstein & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1999. "Why Youths Drop Out of High School: The Impact of Preferences, Opportunities, and Abilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(6), pages 1295-1340, November.
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