Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Compulsory Attendance, Grade Attainment, and High School Graduation

High school graduation rates are a central policy topic in the United States and have been shown to be stagnant for the past three decades. Using student-level administrative data from New York City Public Schools, this study examines the impact of compulsory school attendance on high school graduation rates and grade attainment, focusing the analysis on ninth and tenth grade cohorts.

The study uses the interaction between the school start-age cutoff and compulsory attendance age requirement to identify the effect of compulsory schooling.

The study finds that an additional year in compulsory attendance leads to an increase of 9 to 12 percent in the probability of progressing to grades 11 and 12, and raises the probability of graduating from high school by 9 to 14 percent.

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