Basic Skills and the Earnings of Dropouts

Brown University Department of Econmics Working Paper

27 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2002

See all articles by John H. Tyler

John H. Tyler

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

Date Written: September 2002

Abstract

This paper quantifies the extent to which basic skills matter for young dropouts entering today's labor market. Estimates indicate that for dropouts who were age 16-18 when they took a high stakes test in the late 1990s, a standard deviation increase in scores is associated with earnings that are 9 percent higher in the first three years in the labor market. These results are the first direct evidence that young dropouts in today's economy are not relegated to jobs where cognitive skills are not rewarded, and they stress the importance of skill acquisition for students who may eventually drop out.

Keywords: Dropouts, Low-Shilled Workers, Returns to Skills

JEL Classification: L20, L28, J240

Suggested Citation

Tyler, John H., Basic Skills and the Earnings of Dropouts (September 2002). Brown University Department of Econmics Working Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=305520 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.305520

John H. Tyler (Contact Author)

Brown University - Taubman Center for Public Policy ( email )

Providence, RI 02912
United States
401-863-1036 (Phone)
401-863-1276 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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