This paper provides evidence on the socioeconomic gradient in dropout and progression in upper secondary education in Norway. Using a rich data set covering all students transferring from compulsory education to upper secondary education in 2002, we find that student achievement at the end of compulsory school is the main predictor of dropout and delayed progression. The socioeconomic gradient is sensitive to the inclusion of prior achievement in the model. We find that the gradient is modest and non-linear, and related to dropout behavior and not grade repetition. The results are remarkably robust to controlling for a full set of school fixed effects.
high school dropout socioeconomic gradient student achievement