Is the GED an Effective Route to Postsecondary Education for School Dropouts?

60 Pages Posted: 23 May 2008

See all articles by John H. Tyler

John H. Tyler

Brown University - Taubman Center for Public Policy; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Magnus Lofstrom

Public Policy Institute of California; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Abstract

We use data from the Texas Schools Microdata Panel (TSMP) to examine the extent to which dropouts use the GED as a route to post-secondary education. The paper develops a model pointing out the potential biases in estimating the effects of taking the "GED path" to postsecondary education. Lacking suitable instruments that would allow us to directly address potential biases, our approach is to base our estimates on a set of academically "at risk" students who are very similar in the 8th grade. We observe that the eventual high school graduates in this group have much better postsecondary education outcomes than do the similar at-risk 8th graders who dropped out and obtained a GED. Our model explains the observed differences, and allows for a discussion of the policy challenges inherent in improving the postsecondary outcomes of dropouts.

Keywords: GED, dropouts, post-secondary education

JEL Classification: I2, J18

Suggested Citation

Tyler, John H. and Lofstrom, Magnus, Is the GED an Effective Route to Postsecondary Education for School Dropouts?. , Vol. , pp. -, . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1136459 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0042-7092.2007.00700.x

John H. Tyler (Contact Author)

Brown University - Taubman Center for Public Policy ( email )

Providence, RI 02912
United States
401-863-1036 (Phone)
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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Magnus Lofstrom

Public Policy Institute of California ( email )

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United States

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
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Germany
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+49 228 3894 210 (Fax)

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