Simon Burgess, Karen Gardiner and Carol Propper
Published September 2002
Truancy is often seen as irrational behaviour on the part of school age youth. This paper takes the opposite view and models truancy as the solution to a time allocation problem in which youths derive current returns from activities that reduce time spent at school. The model is estimated using a US panel dataset, the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979, and the estimation allows for the possible endogeneity of returns from these competing activities. The results show that truancy is a function of the estimated economic returns from work, crime and school.