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Student Time Allocation and Educational Production Functions

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  • Massimiliano BRATTI
  • Stefano STAFFOLANI

Abstract

In this paper we investigate the effect of lecture attendance and self-study on undergraduate students' academic performance. We first introduce a simple theoretical model in which students decide the optimal allocation of their time between lecture attendance, self-study and leisure. Under some assumptions, we find a positive relationship between lecture attendance and time devoted to self-study in each course, from which we infer that estimates of the elasticity of student performance with respect to attendance which omit time devoted to self-study might be upward biased. We then estimate an academic performance regression using data from first-year undergraduate students of economics in the academic year 1998-99 at the Marche Polytechnic University (Italy) and find evidence that once self-study time is controlled for, the positive effect of lecture attendance on performance generally falls, and becomes statistically insignificant for most courses, except for “quantitative” ones (mathematics and economics). Our findings are important, especially when student performance regressions are used to evaluate the effectiveness of course attendance, and to inform the debate on the introduction of mandatory attendance policies.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by ENSAE in its journal Annals Of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): (2013)
Issue (Month): 111-112 ()
Pages: 5

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Handle: RePEc:adr:anecst:y:2013:i:111-112:p:5

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References

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  1. Siegfried, John J & Fels, Rendigs, 1979. "Research on Teaching College Economics: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 923-69, September.
  2. David Romer, 1993. "Do Students Go to Class? Should They?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 167-174, Summer.
  3. Massimiliano BRATTI & Stefano STAFFOLANI, 2001. "Performance accademica e scelta della facolta' universitaria: aspetti teorici e evidenza empirica," Working Papers 152, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  4. Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Educational Production," NBER Working Papers 7349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Chizmar, John F & Zak, Thomas A, 1983. "Modeling Multiple Outputs in Educational Production Functions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 17-22, May.
  6. Stewart, Mark B, 1983. "On Least Squares Estimation When the Dependent Variable Is Grouped," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 737-53, October.
  7. McGuckin, Robert H & Winkler, Donald R, 1979. "University Resources in the Production of Education," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(2), pages 242-48, May.
  8. Peter Dolton & Oscar Marcenaro & Lucia Navarro, 2001. "The effective use of student time: A stochastic frontier production function case study," CEE Discussion Papers 0010, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  9. Pritchett, Lant & Filmer, Deon, 1999. "What education production functions really show: a positive theory of education expenditures," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 223-239, April.
  10. Schmidt, Robert M, 1983. "Who Maximizes What? A Study in Student Time Allocation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 23-28, May.
  11. Stephen Devadoss & John Foltz, 1996. "Evaluation of Factors Influencing Student Class Attendance and Performance," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(3), pages 499-507.
  12. Durden, Garey C & Ellis, Larry V, 1995. "The Effects of Attendance on Student Learning in Principles of Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 343-46, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Cappellari, Lorenzo & Lucifora, Claudio & Pozzoli, Dario, 2009. "Determinants of Grades in Maths for Students in Economics," Working Papers 09-17, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  2. Luca Stanca, 2004. "The effects of attendance on academic performance: panel data evidence for Introductory Microeconomics," HEW 0411003, EconWPA.
  3. Gervas Huxley & Mike Peacey, 2014. "A Simple Model of Learning Styles," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 13/322, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  4. Marcello MESSORI & Alberto ZAZZARO, 2004. "Monetary profits within the circuit: Ponzi finance oer "mors tua, vita mea"?," Working Papers 200, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  5. Mehmet F. Dicle & John Levendis, 2013. "Using RFID Technology to Track Attendance," Journal for Economic Educators, Middle Tennessee State University, Business and Economic Research Center, vol. 13(1), pages 29-38, Fall.
  6. Renato BALDUCCI, 2005. "Public Expenditure and Economic Growth. A critical extension of Barro's (1990) model," Working Papers 240, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  7. Vincenzo Andrietti & Rosario D'Addazio & Carlos Velasco, 2008. "Class Attendance and Academic Performance among Spanish Economics Students," Economics Working Papers we096138, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  8. Nicola MATTEUCCI & Alessandro STERLACCHINI, 2003. "ICT and Employment Growth in Italian Industries," Working Papers 193, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  9. Gervas Huxley & Mike Peacey, 2014. "An Economic Model of Learning Styles," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 13/319, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  10. Ugo Fratesi, 2003. "Innovation Diffusion and the Evolution of Regional Disparities," ERSA conference papers ersa03p327, European Regional Science Association.
  11. Elvio MATTIOLI, 2003. "The measurement of coherence in the evaluation of criteria and its effects or ranking problems illustrated using a multicriteria decision method," Working Papers 199, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  12. Stefania BUSSOLETTI & Roberto ESPOSTI, 2004. "Regional Convergence, Structural Funds and the Role of Agricolture in the EU. A Panel-Data Approach," Working Papers 220, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  13. Dobkin, Carlos & Gil, Ricard & Marion, Justin, 2010. "Skipping class in college and exam performance: Evidence from a regression discontinuity classroom experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 566-575, August.
  14. Roberto ESPOSTI & Pierpaolo PIERANI, 2005. "Price, Private Demand and Optimal Provision of Public R&D in Italian Agriculture," Working Papers 238, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.

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