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ERIC Number: ED501994
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Taking the Easy Way Out: How the GED Testing Program Induces Students to Drop Out. NBER Working Paper No. 14044
Heckman, James J.; LaFontaine, Paul A.; Rodriguez, Pedro L.
National Bureau of Economic Research
We exploit an exogenous increase in General Educational Development (GED) testing requirements to determine whether raising the difficulty of the test causes students to finish high school rather than drop out and GED certify. We find that a six point decrease in GED pass rates induces a 1.3 point decline in overall dropout rates. The effect size is also much larger for older students and minorities. Finally, a natural experiment based on the late introduction of the GED in California reveals, that adopting the program increased the dropout rate by 3 points more relative to other states during the mid-1970s.
National Bureau of Economic Research. 1050 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138-5398. Tel: 617-588-0343; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; High School Equivalency Programs; High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA.
Identifiers - Location: California
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: General Educational Development Tests