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Labor markets, academic performance and school dropout risk: evidence for Spain

Juan Guio (University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain and Central University, Bogotá, Colombia)
Álvaro Choi (Barcelona Institue of Education, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain)
Josep-Oriol Escardíbul (Barcelona Institue of Education, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Article publication date: 8 May 2018

617

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a better understanding of the links between labor market conditions and academic performance by disentangling the effects of unemployment. The contribution of this study is, therefore, threefold: first, it provides new evidence on the link between labor market conditions and educational decisions; second, it quantifies separately the two separate effects of unemployment on academic performance at age 15; and third, it analyses heterogeneous effects of the “family” and “local labor market” – proxied through the unemployment rate of the school community – effects.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis of the impact of unemployment on academic performance is performed through hierarchical linear regressions.

Findings

The results show that academic performance at age 15 is affected by labor market conditions, and, at the same time, previous performance determines future educational decisions. Thus, these results highlight the sensitivity of students’ educational decisions and academic performance to shifts in the labor market.

Practical implications

This suggests that strategies aimed at reducing early school dropout rates should not be restricted solely to the education system. In other words, school failure is not only dependent on schools and, hence, on education policies.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the existing literature by providing new evidence on the relationship between short-term labor market dynamics and academic performance. More specifically, this paper represents a significant step forward in comparison to the previous literature as it has provided responses to three key questions faced by countries with high unemployment and high early school dropout.

Keywords

Citation

Guio, J., Choi, Á. and Escardíbul, J.-O. (2018), "Labor markets, academic performance and school dropout risk: evidence for Spain", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 39 No. 2, pp. 301-318. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJM-08-2016-0158

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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