Documentos de trabajoMaria Gutiérrez-Domènech
  • This paper analyses the trends and factors underlying school dropout in Europe. Dropout rates are defined as the percentage of the population aged 18-24 with at most lower secondary degree and not in further education or training.

  • Concerns about school dropout are based on potential adverse consequences with respect to perspectives on the labour market and participation in society.

  • Current dropout rates are dramatically high in Spain, 31.9%, and Portugal, 35.4%, well above the EU27 average of 14.9%. Most countries reduced their dropout rates over the period 1997-2007, except for Spain.

  • We use the variation in cross-country/over time characteristics to explain the different evolution of dropout rates.

  • We find that the structure of upper secondary education matters for dropout since regions with a higher proportion of vocational studies experience a lower incidence of early school-leavers.

  • We also observe more dropout in regions with a relatively highshare of employment in non-technical services or in construction, which suggests that the industrial composition of the economy is an important factor.