Taking the Easy Way Out: How the GED Testing Program Induces Students to Drop Out
NBER Working Paper No. 14044
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.
An online appendix is available for this publication.
This paper was revised on December 5, 2011
Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w14044
Published: James J. Heckman & John Eric Humphries & Paul A. LaFontaine & Pedro L. Rodrï¿½guez, 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. citation courtesy of
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