Arts Education and the High School Dropout Problem

29 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2014

See all articles by M. Kathleen Thomas

M. Kathleen Thomas

Mississippi State University - Department of Finance and Economics

Priyanka Singh

Citigroup (Dallas)

Kristin Klopfenstein

University of Northern Colorado

Date Written: May 22, 2014

Abstract

Arts education advocates believe that quality education in the arts can engage at-risk students in ways other subjects cannot and is therefore an important tool in preventing high school dropout. Although some studies point to lower dropout rates, most do not follow a large number of students over time or account for student and school characteristics expected to influence one’s educational path. We fill this gap in the current literature by tracking nearly 175,000 first-time 9th graders for 5 years using survival analysis with longitudinal administrative data from Texas. We find that cumulative credits in the arts are consistently associated with reduced dropout, even after controlling for course completion in core subjects. Our results provide evidence that the arts are a potential lever in education reform. Experimental and/or quasi-experimental research studies are needed to isolate the salient conditions under which arts participation can reduce dropout.

Keywords: Arts education, Dropout, Survival analysis, Hazard estimates

JEL Classification: I21, I24

Suggested Citation

Thomas, M. Kathleen and Singh, Priyanka and Klopfenstein, Kristin, Arts Education and the High School Dropout Problem (May 22, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2497021 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2497021

M. Kathleen Thomas (Contact Author)

Mississippi State University - Department of Finance and Economics ( email )

Mississippi State, MS 39762
United States
(662) 325-2561 (Phone)

Priyanka Singh

Citigroup (Dallas) ( email )

Dallas, TX
United States

Kristin Klopfenstein

University of Northern Colorado ( email )

501 20th Street
Greeley, CO 80639
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
97
rank
264,536
Abstract Views
920
PlumX Metrics