High School Dropouts and Sexually Transmitted Infections
45 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2011 Last revised: 30 Aug 2012
Date Written: August 27, 2012
People who drop out of high school fare worse in many aspects of life. We analyze whether there is an effect of dropping out of high school on the probability of contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Previous studies on the relationship between dropout status and sexual outcomes have not empirically addressed self-selection effects. Using individual fixed effects estimations we find strong evidence that dropping out increases the risk of contracting an STI for females. Furthermore, we present evidence that illustrates differences between the romantic partners of dropouts versus enrolled students. These differences suggest that female dropouts may be more susceptible to contracting STIs because they partner with significantly different types of people than non-dropouts. Our results point to a previously undocumented benefit of encouraging those at risk of dropping out to stay in school longer.
Keywords: Education, High school dropouts, Risky behavior, Sexually transmitted infections, Add Health
JEL Classification: I10, I20, J13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation