What Have We Learned About the Problems of and Prospects for Disadvantaged Youth?

Jonathan Gruber

in The Problems of Disadvantaged Youth

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780226309453
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226309477 | DOI:
What Have We Learned About the Problems of and Prospects for Disadvantaged Youth?

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Youth from low-income households, minority youth, and youth from broken families face a series of barriers to success that may have negative implications both today and in the future. A critical influence on the outcomes of disadvantaged youth is their educational opportunities. While there have been a number of initiatives to improve the educational opportunities available to low-income children, one of the most popular has been allowing students to opt out of their underperforming local school and choose another public school. This chapter provides an analysis of the impact of the recent increases in compulsory schooling ages. Another dimension along which disadvantaged youth suffer relative to their advantaged counterparts is health status. These gaps arise from several sources: differences in inherited health status (genetic transmission); differences in treatment of illness; differences in environments that impact health status; and differences in risk-taking behaviors that determine health outcomes (such as smoking and drinking). Furthermore, the chapter examines the role of contextual influences on the outcomes of disadvantaged children: the unemployment of their parents, the religiosity of the household, and the rate of crime in the neighborhood.

Keywords: youth; educational opportunities; schooling ages; health status; contextual influences

Chapter.  5212 words. 

Subjects: Public Economics

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