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How The Timing of Grade Retention Affects Outcomes: Identification and Estimation of Time-Varying Treatment Effects

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Author Info

  • Jane Cooley Fruehwirth

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin--Madison)

  • Salvador Navarro

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Western Ontario)

  • Yuya Takahashi

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Mannheim)

Abstract

Increasingly, grade retention is viewed as an important alternative to social promotion, yet evidence to date is unable to disentangle how the effect of grade retention varies by abilities and over time. The key challenge is differential selection of students into retention across grades and by abilities. Because existing quasi-experimental methods cannot address this question, we develop a new strategy that is a hybrid between a control function and a generalization of the fixed effects approach. Applying our method to nationally-representative, longitudinal data, we find evidence of dynamic selection into retention and that the treatment effect of retention varies considerably across grades and unobservable abilities of students. Our strategy can be applied more broadly to many time-varying or multiple treatment settings.

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File URL: http://humcap.uchicago.edu/RePEc/hka/wpaper/Fruehwirth_Navarro_Takahashi_2011-how-timing-grade.pdf
File Function: First version, May 29, 2011
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group in its series Working Papers with number 2011-015.

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Date of creation: May 2011
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Handle: RePEc:hka:wpaper:2011-015

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Keywords: time-varying treatments; dynamic selection; grade retention; factor analysis;

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References

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  1. Brian Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2007. "The Effect of Grade Retention on High School Completion," NBER Working Papers 13514, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Stéphane Bonhomme & Jean-Marc Robin, 2008. "Generalized nonparametric deconvolution with an application to earnings dynamics," CeMMAP working papers CWP03/08, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. Heckman, James J. & Navarro, Salvador, 2007. "Dynamic discrete choice and dynamic treatment effects," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 136(2), pages 341-396, February.
  4. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman & Salvador Navarro, 2007. "The Identification & Economic Content of Ordered Choice Models with Stochastic Thresholds," Working Papers 200726, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  5. Rosa L. Matzkin, 2003. "Nonparametric Estimation of Nonadditive Random Functions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(5), pages 1339-1375, 09.
  6. Flavio Cunha & James Heckman & Susanne Schennach, 2010. "Estimating the technology of cognitive and noncognitive skill formation," CeMMAP working papers CWP09/10, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  7. S. A. Murphy, 2003. "Optimal dynamic treatment regimes," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 65(2), pages 331-355.
  8. James J. Heckman & Sergio Urzua & Edward Vytlacil, 2009. "Understanding Instrumental Variables in Models with Essential Heterogeneity," Working Papers 200941, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  9. Markus Fr–lich, 2004. "Programme Evaluation with Multiple Treatments," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(2), pages 181-224, 04.
  10. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Navarro, Salvador, 2007. "The Identification and Economic Content of Ordered Choice Models with Stochastic Thresholds," IZA Discussion Papers 2940, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Carneiro, Pedro & Hansen, Karsten T. & Heckman, James J., 2003. "Estimating Distributions of Treatment Effects with an Application to the Returns to Schooling and Measurement of the Effects of Uncertainty on College Choice," IZA Discussion Papers 767, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Susanne M. Schennach, 2004. "Estimation of Nonlinear Models with Measurement Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 33-75, 01.
  13. Cattaneo, Matias D., 2010. "Efficient semiparametric estimation of multi-valued treatment effects under ignorability," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 155(2), pages 138-154, April.
  14. Flavio Cunha & James Heckman & Salvador Navarro, 2005. "Separating uncertainty from heterogeneity in life cycle earnings," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 191-261, April.
  15. Heckman, James & Navarro-Lozano, Salvador, 2003. "Using matching, instrumental variables and control functions to estimate economic choice models," Working Paper Series 2003:4, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  16. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2004. "Remedial Education and Student Achievement: A Regression-Discontinuity Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 226-244, February.
  17. Kelly Bedard & Elizabeth Dhuey, 2006. "The Persistence of Early Childhood Maturity: International Evidence of Long-Run Age Effects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1437-1472, November.
  18. Heckman, James J, 1990. "Varieties of Selection Bias," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 313-18, May.
  19. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey A. Smith, 1998. "Evaluating the Welfare State," NBER Working Papers 6542, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Pedro Carneiro & Karsten T. Hansen & James J. Heckman, 2003. "Estimating Distributions of Treatment Effects with an Application to the Returns to Schooling and Measurement of the Effects of Uncertainty on College," NBER Working Papers 9546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Ham, John C & LaLonde, Robert J, 1996. "The Effect of Sample Selection and Initial Conditions in Duration Models: Evidence from Experimental Data on Training," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(1), pages 175-205, January.
  22. Stephanie Riegg Cellini & Fernando Ferreira & Jesse Rothstein, 2010. "The Value of School Facility Investments: Evidence from a Dynamic Regression Discontinuity Design," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(1), pages 215-261, February.
  23. Jaap H. Abbring & Gerard J. van den Berg, 2003. "The Nonparametric Identification of Treatment Effects in Duration Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(5), pages 1491-1517, 09.
  24. Yingyao Hu & Susanne M. Schennach, 2008. "Instrumental Variable Treatment of Nonclassical Measurement Error Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(1), pages 195-216, 01.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Robert J. Gary-Bobo & Marion Gousse & Jean-Marc Robin, 2014. "Grade Retention and Unobserved Heterogeneity," CESifo Working Paper Series 4846, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Stijn BAERT & Bart COCKX, 2013. "Pure Ethnic Gaps in Educational Attainment and School to Work Transitions. When Do They Arise?," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2013005, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  3. Mai Seki, 2013. "Heterogeneous Returns to U.S. College Selectivity and the Value of Graduate Degree Attainment," Working Papers 13-46, Bank of Canada.
  4. Robert Gary-Bobo & Marion Gousse & Jean-Marc Robin, 2014. "Grade retention and unobserved heterogeneity," CeMMAP working papers CWP14/14, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.

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