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ERIC Number: ED440303
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Apr
Pages: 31
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Cognitive Skills Matter in the Labor Market, Even for School Dropouts. NCSALL Reports #15.
Tyler, John H.; Murnane, Richard J.; Willett, John B.
A study examined evidence of any labor market payoff for school dropouts and if they acquire cognitive skills, and studied whether the payoff differs by gender and race/ethnicity. It analyzed data containing information on the universe of school dropouts in New York and Florida who took the General Educational Development (GED) exams between 1986-90 and were aged 16-21 when they last took those exams. The data--basic demographic information and GED test scores--were merged with Social Security taxable annual earnings via Social Security Numbers. Labor market earnings were measured 5 years after dropouts last attempted the GED exams. Results, based on earnings of 21-26 year-old dropouts who attempted the GED exams in Florida and New York in 1986-90, showed the average annual earnings levels of young dropouts were quite low; in the labor market of the early 1990s, young high school dropouts could expect higher annual earnings if they had higher levels of basic cognitive skills; and females and minority group members had greater returns. The significant economic return to modest skill differences among minority male dropouts shed light on a puzzle in the random-assignment evaluation of the Perry Pre-School Program. (YLB)
National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy/World Education, Attn: Sam Gordenstein, 44 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210-1211 (No. 15, $5). Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Inst. on Postsecondary Education, Libraries, and Lifelong Learning (ED/OERI), Washington, DC.; Rockefeller Foundation, New York, NY.; Russell Sage Foundation, New York, NY.; Spencer Foundation, Chicago, IL.
Authoring Institution: National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy, Boston, MA.
Identifiers - Location: Florida; New York
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: General Educational Development Tests