Mark Anderson and I just finished a paper looking at one pathway through which dropping out of school might affect future life outcomes. The paper is "Why is Dropping Out of High School Bad? Dropouts and Sexually Transmitted Infections". The abstract for the paper is:
People who drop out of high school fare worse in many aspects of life. We analyze whether there is a causal effect of dropping out of high school on the probability of contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Previous studies on the relationship between dropout status and sexual outcomes have not empirically addressed self-selection effects. Using individual fixed effects estimations we find strong evidence that dropping out increases the risk of contracting an STI for females. Furthermore, we present evidence illustrating differences between the romantic partners of dropouts versus enrolled students. These differences suggest that female dropouts may be more susceptible to contracting STIs because they partner with significantly different types of people than non-dropouts. These results point to a previously undocumented benefit of encouraging those at risk of dropping out to stay in school longer.