The Effect of High School Employment on Educational Attainment in Canada

CIRPEE Working Paper No. 04-13

Posted: 21 Jun 2004

See all articles by Daniel Parent

Daniel Parent

McGill University - Department of Economics

Date Written: June 2004


The objective of this paper is to assess the impact of working in the twelve months preceding the date of leaving high school, either as a graduate or as a dropout, on the probability of graduation. To do so, I use Statistics Canada's 1991 School Leavers Survey and its 1995 Follow-up. Given that both the decision to graduate and the decision to work are endogenous variables, I use local labour market conditions as an exclusion restriction. The results show a strong negative effect of working while in school on the probability of graduation for men. Specification checks show that this negative impact is driven by variations in hours worked induced by favourable local labour market conditions for those working a relatively large number of hours per week. The results for females are somewhat inconclusive due in part to the rejection of the exclusion restrictions.

Keywords: High School non-completion, local labour market conditions, instrumental variables

JEL Classification: I2, C3

Suggested Citation

Parent, Daniel, The Effect of High School Employment on Educational Attainment in Canada (June 2004). CIRPEE Working Paper No. 04-13, Available at SSRN:

Daniel Parent (Contact Author)

McGill University - Department of Economics ( email )

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