The Economic Determinants of Truancy
48 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2008
Date Written: September 2002
Truancy is often seen as irrational behaviour on the part of school age youth. This paper takes the opposite view and models truancy as the solution to a time allocation problem in which youths derive current returns from activities that reduce time spent at school. The model is estimated using a US panel dataset, the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979, and the estimation allows for the possible endogeneity of returns from these competing activities. The results show that truancy is a function of the estimated economic returns from work, crime and school.
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