Who Benefits from Obtaining a Ged? Evidence from High School and Beyond

64 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2000 Last revised: 12 Oct 2010

See all articles by Richard J. Murnane

Richard J. Murnane

Harvard University - Harvard Graduate School of Education; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

John B. Willett

Harvard University - Harvard Graduate School of Education

John H. Tyler

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

Date Written: June 1999

Abstract

This paper examines the value of the GED credential and the conventional high school diploma in explaining the earnings of 27-year-old males in the early 1990s. The data base is the High School & Beyond sophomore cohort. We replicate the basic findings of prior studies that implicitly assume the labor market value of the GED credential does not depend on the skills with which dropouts left school. We show that these average effects mask a more complicated pattern. Obtaining a GED is associated with higher earnings at age 27 for those male dropouts who had very weak cognitive skills as tenth graders, but not for those who had stronger cognitive skills as tenth graders.

Suggested Citation

Murnane, Richard J. and Willett, John B. and Tyler, John H., Who Benefits from Obtaining a Ged? Evidence from High School and Beyond (June 1999). NBER Working Paper No. w7172. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=203372

Richard J. Murnane (Contact Author)

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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John B. Willett

Harvard University - Harvard Graduate School of Education ( email )

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United States
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John H. Tyler

Brown University - Taubman Center for Public Policy ( email )

Providence, RI 02912
United States
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401-863-1276 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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