Many teenagers who drop out of high school are unable to reintegrate into educational institutions. They are not drafted into the Israeli military and are left on the margins of society without a profession or an ability to make a living. Some of them become a burden on welfare services and others slide into delinquency and crime.
In addition to its many personal and societal implications, this phenomenon also involves broad economic issues arising from the economic cost of treating these youths during their lifetimes and the costs incurred by the state because of their criminal actions.
The purposes of this research included quantifying the high school dropout phenomena, estimating its costs to the national economy on the one hand and estimating the benefits and the savings the state would achieve by preventing the dropout phenomenon at an early stage.
The research included quantifying and segmenting the dropout population according to age groups. Three aspects of the costs to the national economy were analyzed:
- Direct budgetary costs of programs for treating high school dropouts;
- Indirect costs to the national economy: mainly the costs of crime;
- Alternatives costs: the loss of potential product for the economy due to dropouts not being part of the work force.