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The American High School Graduation Rate: Trends and Levels

James Heckman and Paul LaFontaine ()

No 3216, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: This paper uses multiple data sources and a unified methodology to estimate the trends and levels of the U.S. high school graduation rate. Correcting for important biases that plague previous calculations, we establish that (a) the true high school graduation rate is substantially lower than the official rate issued by the National Center for Educational Statistics; (b) it has been declining over the past 40 years; (c) majority/minority graduation rate differentials are substantial and have not converged over the past 35 years; (d) the decline in high school graduation rates occurs among native populations and is not solely a consequence of increasing proportions of immigrants and minorities in American society; (e) the decline in high school graduation explains part of the recent slowdown in college attendance; and (f) the pattern of the decline of high school graduation rates by gender helps to explain the recent increase in male-female college attendance gaps.

Keywords: high school graduation rates; high school dropout rate; educational attainment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu, nep-hrm, nep-ltv and nep-ure
Date: 2007-12
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Published in: Review of Economics and Statistics, 2010, 92 (2), 244-262

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http://ftp.iza.org/dp3216.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: The American High School Graduation Rate: Trends and Levels (2010) Downloads
Working Paper: THE AMERICAN HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION RATE: TRENDS AND LEVELS (2008) Downloads
Working Paper: The American High School Graduation Rate: Trends and Levels (2007) Downloads
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