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The Effects of Test-based Retention on Student Outcomes over Time: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from Florida

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Author Info

  • Schwerdt, Guido

    ()
    (University of Konstanz)

  • West, Martin R.

    ()
    (Harvard Graduate School of Education)

Abstract

A growing number of American states require that students who do not demonstrate basic reading proficiency at the end of third grade be retained and provided with remedial services. We exploit a discontinuity in the probability of third grade retention under Florida's test-based promotion policy to study the causal effect of retention on student outcomes over time. Although conventional OLS estimates suggest negative effects of retention on achievement, regression discontinuity estimates indicate large positive effects on achievement and a reduced probability of retention in subsequent years. The achievement gains from test-based retention fade out over time, however, and are statistically insignificant after six years.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7314.

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Length: 57 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7314

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Keywords: educational production; public schools; grade retention;

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References

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  1. John P. Papay & Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett, 2011. "How Performance Information Affects Human-Capital Investment Decisions: The Impact of Test-Score Labels on Educational Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 17120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. Manacorda, Marco, 2010. "The Cost of Grade Retention," CEPR Discussion Papers 7889, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Nathaniel Hilger & Emmanuel Saez & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach & Danny Yagan, 2010. "How Does Your Kindergarten Classroom Affect Your Earnings? Evidence From Project STAR," NBER Working Papers 16381, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Miguel Urquiola & Eric Verhoogen, 2009. "Class-Size Caps, Sorting, and the Regression-Discontinuity Design," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 179-215, March.
  6. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2009. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," NBER Working Papers 14723, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Imbens, Guido W. & Kalyanaraman, Karthik, 2009. "Optimal Bandwidth Choice for the Regression Discontinuity Estimator," IZA Discussion Papers 3995, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Matsudaira, Jordan D., 2008. "Mandatory summer school and student achievement," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 829-850, February.
  9. Eide, Eric R. & Showalter, Mark H., 2001. "The effect of grade retention on educational and labor market outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 563-576, December.
  10. Schwerdt, Guido & West, Martin R., 2011. "The Impact of Alternative Grade Configurations on Student Outcomes through Middle and High School," IZA Discussion Papers 6208, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Eric A. Hanushek & Steven G. Rivkin, 2010. "Generalizations about Using Value-Added Measures of Teacher Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 267-71, May.
  12. Austin Nichols, 2007. "Causal inference with observational data," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 7(4), pages 507-541, December.
  13. Philip Babcock & Kelly Bedard, 2011. "The Wages of Failure: New Evidence on School Retention and Long-Run Outcomes," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 6(3), pages 293-322, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Cockx, Bart, 2013. "Youth Unemployment in Belgium: Diagnosis and Key Remedies," IZA Policy Papers 66, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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