Labor market returns to the GED using regression discontinuity analysis

Christopher Jepsen, Peter Mueser, Kenneth Troske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


We evaluate returns to General Educational Development (GED) certification for high school dropouts using state administrative data. We apply a fuzzy regression discontinuity method to account for test takers retaking the test. For women we find that GED certification has no statistically significant effect on either employment or earnings. For men we find a significant increase in earnings in the second year after taking the test but no impact in subsequent years. GED certification increases postsecondary school enrollment by 4-8 percentage points. Our results differ from regression discontinuity approaches that fail to account for test retaking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-649
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Political Economy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2016

Bibliographical note

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© 2016 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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