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Taking the Easy Way Out: How the GED Testing Program Induces Students to Drop Out

James Heckman, John Humphries, Paul LaFontaine () and Pedro L. Rodriguez

No 14044, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: The option to obtain a General Education Development (GED) certificate changes the incentives facing high school students. This paper evaluates the effect of three different GED policy innovations on high school graduation rates. A six point decrease in the GED pass rate due to an increase in national passing standards produced a 1.3 point decline in overall high school dropout rates. The introduction of a GED certification program in high schools in Oregon produced a four percent decrease in high school graduation rates. Introduction of GED certificates for civilians in California increased the high school dropout rate by 3 points. The GED program induces students to drop out of high school.

JEL-codes: C61 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ure
Date: 2008-05
Note: ED
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Published as James J. Heckman & John Eric Humphries & Paul A. LaFontaine & Pedro L. Rodr�guez, 2012. "Taking the Easy Way Out: How the GED Testing Program Induces Students to Drop Out," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(3), pages 495 - 520.

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