Labour market consequences of a high school diploma

Deni Mazrekaj*, Kristof De Witte, Sarah Vansteenkiste

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

This article compares the labour market outcomes of high school dropouts to high school graduates who did not enrol into higher education, but immediately entered the labour market. Using parental educational background as an instrument on a rich administrative dataset in the Flemish Region of Belgium, we find no returns to a high school diploma on average. However, these results hide considerable heterogeneity by gender and educational track. While females and individuals in vocational education may benefit from a diploma, male graduates and students holding a general education diploma may even be worse off on the labour market than dropouts. We show that sectoral heterogeneity acts as an underlying mechanism in the returns to a high school diploma.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2313-2325
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Economics
Volume51
Issue number21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2019

Keywords

  • Returns to schooling
  • heterogeneity
  • high school diploma
  • school dropout
  • instrumental variables
  • ECONOMIC RETURN
  • EDUCATION
  • VARIABLES
  • BENEFITS
  • INCOME
  • LAWS

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