Ability, Parental Valuation of Education and the High-School Drop Out Decision

We study how parental preferences for education affect the likelihood that a child graduates from high school. We derive new results on the identification of unobserved factor models.

Journal of Human Resources, 49 (4), 906-944, October 2014

With
Kelly Foley and David Green

Abstract

The probability of dropping out of high school varies considerably with parental education. Using a rich Canadian panel dataset, we examine the channels determining this socio-economic status effect. We estimate an extended version of Carneiro, Hansen and Heckman (2003)’s factor model, incorporating effects from cognitive and non-cognitive ability and parental valuation of education (PVE). We find that cognitive ability and PVE have substantial impacts on dropping-out and that parental education has little direct effect on dropping-out after controlling for these factors. Our results confirm the importance of determinants of pre-high school ability stocks but also indicate an important role for PVE during teenage years.

PAPER (PDF)

DATA AND CODE

Citation

@article{foley2014ability,
  title={Ability, Parental Valuation of Education, and the High School Dropout Decision},
  author={Foley, Kelly and Gallipoli, Giovanni and Green, David A},
  journal={Journal of Human Resources},
  volume={49},
  number={4},
  pages={906--944},
  year={2014},
  publisher={University of Wisconsin Press}
}