Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

SSRN eLibrary


12 pp.


Several states have required K-12 public schools to start after Labor Day in an effort to aid the tourism and hospitality industry. However, little is known about how these policies impact educational outcomes. We examine the impact of Virginia's post-Labor Day school start law on high school retention and graduation rates. We use a difference-in-differences model to exploit exogenous variation in school division start dates. Our results show small differences of up to three weeks have little effect on high school dropout and graduation rates. Our findings inform the debate on post-Labor Day school start laws and compulsory attendance age cutoff laws.


© 2020 The Authors
Posted with author permission. SSRN version available at:

This article has since been published in Applied Economics Letters, volume 29, issue 6, pp. 520-525, 2022.

Original Publication Citation

Komarek, T. M., & Walker, J. K. (2020). Does starting school before Labor Day affect high school retention and graduation: Evidence from Virginia's Kings Dominion Law. SSRN eLibrary, 12 pp. doi:10.2139/ssrn.3607569