Does Starting School Before Labor Day Affect High School Retention and Graduation: Evidence from Virginia's Kings Dominion Law

13 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2020

See all articles by Timothy M. Komarek

Timothy M. Komarek

Old Dominion University

Jay K. Walker

Old Dominion University - Economics

Date Written: May 21, 2020

Abstract

Several states have required K-12 public schools to start after Labor Day in an effort to aid the tourism and hospitality industry. However, little is known about how these policies impact educational outcomes. We examine the impact of Virginia's post-Labor Day school start law on high school retention and graduation rates. We use a difference-in-differences model to exploit exogenous variation in school division start dates. Our results show small differences of up to three weeks have little effect on high school dropout and graduation rates. Our findings inform the debate on post-Labor Day school start laws and compulsory attendance age cutoff laws.

Keywords: Labor Day School Start; Graduation Rates; Retention Rates; Age effects

JEL Classification: I20; I21; J29

Suggested Citation

Komarek, Timothy M. and Walker, Jay K., Does Starting School Before Labor Day Affect High School Retention and Graduation: Evidence from Virginia's Kings Dominion Law (May 21, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3607569 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3607569

Timothy M. Komarek

Old Dominion University ( email )

Norfolk, VA 23529-0222
United States

Jay K. Walker (Contact Author)

Old Dominion University - Economics ( email )

Norfolk, VA 23529
United States

HOME PAGE: http://jaykody.wixsite.com/mysite

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