Labor-Market Returns to the GED Using Regression Discontinuity Analysis

54 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2012

See all articles by Christopher Jepsen

Christopher Jepsen

University College Dublin (UCD) - School of Economics

Peter R. Mueser

University of Missouri; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Kenneth R. Troske

University of Kentucky - Department of Economics; University of Missouri at Columbia - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

We evaluate the labor-market returns to General Educational Development (GED) certification using state administrative data. We develop a fuzzy regression discontinuity (FRD) method to account for the fact that GED test takers can repeatedly retake the test until they pass it. Our technique can be applied to other situations where program participation is determined by a score on a "retake-able" test. Previous regression discontinuity estimates of the returns to GED certification have not accounted for retaking behavior, so these estimates may be biased. We find that the effect of GED certification on either employment or earnings is not statistically significant. GED certification increases postsecondary participation by up to four percentage points for men and up to eight percentage points for women.

Keywords: GED, high school dropouts

JEL Classification: J24, I21

Suggested Citation

Jepsen, Christopher and Mueser, Peter R. and Troske, Kenneth R., Labor-Market Returns to the GED Using Regression Discontinuity Analysis. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6758, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2157900

Christopher Jepsen (Contact Author)

University College Dublin (UCD) - School of Economics ( email )

Belfield
Belfield, Dublin 4 4
Ireland

Peter R. Mueser

University of Missouri ( email )

331 Professional Building
Dept. Economics and Truman School Public Affairs
Columbia, MO 65211
United States
573-882-6427 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://web.missouri.edu/~mueser/

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Kenneth R. Troske

University of Kentucky - Department of Economics ( email )

Lexington, KY 40506
United States

University of Missouri at Columbia - Department of Economics ( email )

118 Professional Building
Columbia, MO 65211
United States
573-882-4229 (Phone)
573-882-2697 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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