ERIC Number: ED440303
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Apr
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)
Descriptors: Dropout Characteristics, Dropout Research, Dropouts, Education Work Relationship, Educational Benefits, Educational Status Comparison, Ethnicity, High School Equivalency Programs, Outcomes of Education, Racial Differences, Rewards, Sex Differences, Thinking Skills, Wages
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: http://gseweb.harvard.edu/~ncsall.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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