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Title: The GED
Resulting in 1 citation.
1. Heckman, James J.
Humphries, John Eric
Mader, Nicholas S.
IZA Discussion Paper No. 4975, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), May 2010.
Cohort(s): NLSY79, NLSY97
Publisher: Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
Keyword(s): Dropouts; Educational Returns; GED/General Educational Diploma/General Equivalency Degree/General Educational Development; High School Dropouts; Labor Market Outcomes; Schooling, Post-secondary; Tests and Testing; Wage Growth

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

The General Educational Development (GED) credential is issued on the basis of an eight hour subject-based test. The test claims to establish equivalence between dropouts and traditional high school graduates, opening the door to college and positions in the labor market. In 2008 alone, almost 500,000 dropouts passed the test, amounting to 12% of all high school credentials issued in that year. This chapter reviews the academic literature on the GED, which finds minimal value of the certificate in terms of labor market outcomes and that only a few individuals successfully use it as a path to obtain post-secondary credentials. Although the GED establishes cognitive equivalence on one measure of scholastic aptitude, recipients still face limited opportunity due to deficits in noncognitive skills such as persistence, motivation and reliability. The literature finds that the GED testing program distorts social statistics on high school completion rates, minority graduation gaps, and sources of wage growth. Recent work demonstrates that, through its availability and low cost, the GED also induces some students to drop out of school. The GED program is unique to the United States and Canada, but provides policy insight relevant to any nation's educational context.
Bibliography Citation
Heckman, James J., John Eric Humphries and Nicholas S. Mader. "The GED." IZA Discussion Paper No. 4975, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), May 2010.