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Am I Missing Something? The Effects of Absence from Class on Student Performance

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Author Info

  • Arulampalam, Wiji

    ()
    (University of Warwick)

  • Naylor, Robin

    ()
    (University of Warwick)

  • Smith, Jeremy

    ()
    (University of Warwick)

Abstract

We exploit a rich administrative panel data-set for cohorts of Economics students at a UK university in order to identify causal effects of class absence on student performance. We utilise the panel properties of the data to control for unobserved heterogeneity across students and hence for endogeneity between absence and academic performance of students stemming from the likely influence of unobserved effort and ability on both absence and performance. Our estimations also exploit features of the data such as the random assignment of students to classes and information on the timetable of classes, which yield potential instruments in our identification strategy. Among other results, we find that there is a causal effect of absence on performance for students: missing class leads to poorer performance. There is evidence from a quantile regression specification that this is particularly true for better-performing students, consistent with our hypothesis that effects of absence on performance are likely to vary with factors such as student ability.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3749.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3749

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Related research

Keywords: education; panel data; selection correction; quantile regression; class absence; randomised experiments; student performance;

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References

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  1. McNabb, Robert & Pal, Sarmistha & Sloane, Peter, 2002. "Gender Differences in Educational Attainment: The Case of University Students in England and Wales," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 69(275), pages 481-503, August.
  2. Jacob M. Markman & Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 2003. "Does peer ability affect student achievement?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(5), pages 527-544.
  3. David Romer, 1993. "Do Students Go to Class? Should They?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 167-174, Summer.
  4. Luca Stanca, 2013. "The Effects of Attendance on Academic Performance: Panel Data Evidence for Introductory Microeconomics," Working Papers 78, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2013.
  5. Chamberlain, Gary, 1984. "Panel data," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 22, pages 1247-1318 Elsevier.
  6. Caroline M. Hoxby, 1998. "The Effects of Class Size and Composition on Student Achievement: New Evidence from Natural Population Variation," NBER Working Papers 6869, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Daniel R. Marburger, 2001. "Absenteeism and Undergraduate Exam Performance," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(2), pages 99-109, January.
  8. 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.
  9. Koenker, Roger, 2004. "Quantile regression for longitudinal data," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 74-89, October.
  10. Stinebrickner Ralph & Stinebrickner Todd R., 2008. "The Causal Effect of Studying on Academic Performance," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-55, June.
  11. Rodgers, Joan R, 2002. "Encouraging Tutorial Attendance at University Did Not Improve Performance," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(3), pages 255-66, September.
  12. Gregory A. Krohn & Catherine M. O'Connor, 2005. "Student Effort and Performance over the Semester," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(1), pages 3-28, January.
  13. Edward P. Lazear, 2001. "Educational Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 777-803, August.
  14. Moshe Buchinsky, 1998. "Recent Advances in Quantile Regression Models: A Practical Guideline for Empirical Research," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(1), pages 88-126.
  15. Moshe Buchinsky, 2001. "Quantile regression with sample selection: Estimating women's return to education in the U.S," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 87-113.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2003. "On The Specification and Estimation of The Production Function for Cognitive Achievement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F3-F33, February.
  19. Daniel R. Marburger, 2006. "Does Mandatory Attendance Improve Student Performance?," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(2), pages 148-155, April.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Alessia Matano & Paolo Naticchioni, 2009. "Wage distribution and the spatial sorting of workers and firms," Working Papers - Dipartimento di Economia 8-DEISFOL, Dipartimento di Economia, Sapienza University of Rome, revised 2009.
  2. Liam Delaney & Colm Harmon & Martin Ryan, 2011. "The Role of Noncognitive Traits in Undergraduate Study Behaviours," Working Papers 201132, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  3. Alexei G. Orlov & John Roufagalas, 2012. "Performance Determinants in Undergraduate Economics Classes: The Effect of Cognitive Reflection," International Review of Economic Education, Economics Network, University of Bristol, vol. 11(2), pages 28-45.
  4. Chang Da Wan & Roland K. Cheo, 2012. "Determinants of Malaysian and Singaporean Economics Undergraduates' Academic Performance," International Review of Economic Education, Economics Network, University of Bristol, vol. 11(2), pages 7-27.

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