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Basic skills and the earnings of dropouts

Economics of Education Review Volume 23, Number 3 ISSN 0272-7757 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


This paper tests the extent to which the accumulation of basic cognitive skills, as measured by a post-schooling math test, matter for young dropouts entering today’s labor market. Based on a sample of dropouts who were age 16–18 when administered a math test in the late 1990s, estimates indicate that a standard deviation increase in the test score is associated with 6.5% higher average earnings over the first 3 years in the labor market. These results are the first direct evidence that young dropouts in today’s economy are not relegated to jobs where basic cognitive skills are not rewarded, and they stress the importance of skill acquisition for students who may eventually drop out.


Tyler, J.H. Basic skills and the earnings of dropouts. Economics of Education Review, 23(3), 221-235. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved December 2, 2020 from .

This record was imported from Economics of Education Review on March 1, 2019. Economics of Education Review is a publication of Elsevier.

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