Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1136378
 
 

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The American High School Graduation Rate: Trends and Levels


James J. Heckman


University of Chicago - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); American Bar Foundation; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Paul LaFontaine


American Bar Association


IZA Working Paper No. 3216

Abstract:     
This paper uses multiple data sources and a unified methodology to estimate the trends and levels of the U.S. high school graduation rate. Correcting for important biases that plague previous calculations, we establish that (a) the true high school graduation rate is substantially lower than the official rate issued by the National Center for Educational Statistics; (b) it has been declining over the past 40 years; (c) majority/minority graduation rate differentials are substantial and have not converged over the past 35 years; (d) the decline in high school graduation rates occurs among native populations and is not solely a consequence of increasing proportions of immigrants and minorities in American society; (e) the decline in high school graduation explains part of the recent slowdown in college attendance; and (f) the pattern of the decline of high school graduation rates by gender helps to explain the recent increase in male-female college attendance gaps.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 62

Keywords: high school dropout rate, high school graduation rates, educational attainment

JEL Classification: I21

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Date posted: May 23, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Heckman, James J. and LaFontaine, Paul, The American High School Graduation Rate: Trends and Levels. , Vol. , pp. -, . Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1136378 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0042-7092.2007.00700.x

Contact Information

James J. Heckman (Contact Author)
University of Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )
1126 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-0634 (Phone)
773-702-8490 (Fax)
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
American Bar Foundation
750 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611
United States
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)
Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany
Paul LaFontaine
American Bar Association ( email )
321 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60610
United States
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