ERIC Number: ED453012
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
High School Dropouts: Implications in the Economic Development of West Virginia. Research Paper 9909.
De Sousa, Semoa C. B.; Gebremedhin, Tesfa
Despite increased government investments in education, West Virginia continues to have one of the nation's highest high school dropout rates and is among the states with the highest unemployment rates. Human capital theory provides the conceptual basis for evaluating the relationship between investment in education and economic development. An ordinary least squares regression method was used to examine the implications of high school dropouts in the economic development of West Virginia. Results revealed that increases in high school dropout rates and the state gross domestic product increased employment rates, while an increase in unemployment compensation decreased employment rates. Thus, the increase in employment rates may likely be in unskilled and low-paying jobs. The conclusions suggest several implications for policymakers. The opportunity cost to invest in education is low when an area is still attracting firms that require unskilled and low-paying jobs. As long as dropout rates positively correlate with unskilled and low-paying jobs, the poverty cycle in West Virginia will perpetuate. The perpetuation of low income and poverty will result in increased government expenditures on transfer payments such as income support, while generating low tax revenue. The perpetuation of unskilled and low-paying jobs will force most educated community members to leave because of the inability to find suitable jobs, and the community will lose a significant portion of returns on its investment in these people's education. Recommendations are offered for state and local long-range strategies to stimulate students to stay in school and pursue further education. (Contains 44 references.) (TD)
Descriptors: Dropout Rate, Dropout Research, Economic Development, Education Work Relationship, Educational Attainment, Employment Patterns, High Schools, Human Capital, Labor Force, Poverty Areas, Public Policy, Rural Development
Full text: http://www.rri.wvu.edu/pdffiles/dropouts.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: West Virginia Univ., Morgantown. Regional Research Inst.
Identifiers - Location: West Virginia