The Importance of Functional Literacy: Reading and Math Skills and Labour Market Outcomes of High School Drop-outs - ARCHIVED

Articles and reports: 11F0019M2006275


This study assesses the effects of literacy and numeracy skills on the labour market outcomes of Canadian high school drop-outs. We find that these skills have significant effects on the probability of being employed and on hours and weeks of work for both men and women, and also have strong (direct) influences on men's, but not women's, incomes. These findings imply that high school curricula that develop literacy and numeracy skills could provide significant returns even for those who do not complete their programs and wind up at the lower end of the labour market. Our findings similarly suggest that training programs catering to drop-outs could substantially improve these individuals' labour market outcomes by developing these basic skills. The results also have implications for dual labour market theory, since it is often assumed that the secondary market is characterized by minimal returns to human capital'contrary to what is found here.

Issue Number: 2006275
Author(s): Finnie, Ross; Meng, Ronald
FormatRelease dateMore information
PDFMarch 27, 2006