David Brooks says

I don’t care how many factory jobs have been lost, it still doesn’t make sense to drop out of high school. The influences that lead so many to do so are much deeper and more complicated than anything that can be grasped in an economic model or populist slogan.

I don’t pretend to include all influences, but when I was but a wee pup I tried to build a model that captured what David is talking about and show that it does make sense to drop out of high school when lots of factory jobs are lost.

The response I got was universally: cute but no cigar.

I’ll link to my old paper here.

There is a lot of throat clearing at the beginning, but if you care about Brook’s point specifically then jump to page 18.