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Procrastination, Academic Success and the Effectiveness of a Remedial Program

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  • De Paola, Maria

    ()
    (University of Calabria)

  • Scoppa, Vincenzo

    ()
    (University of Calabria)

Abstract

Procrastination produces harmful effects for human capital investments and studying activities. Using data from a large sample of Italian undergraduates, we measure procrastination with the actual behaviour of students, considering the delay in finalizing their university enrolment procedure. We firstly show that procrastination is a strong predictor of students' educational achievements. This result holds true controlling for quite reliable measures of cognitive abilities, a number of background characteristics and indicators of students' motivation. Secondly, we investigate, using a Regression Discontinuity Design, the effects of a remedial program in helping students with different propensity to procrastinate. We show that the policy especially advantages students who tend to procrastinate, suggesting that also policies not directly aimed at handling procrastination can help to solve self-control problems.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 8021.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8021

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Keywords: procrastination; self-control; time preferences; time consistency; impatience; human capital; academic success; dropout; remedial courses;

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  1. Ted O'Donoghue and Matthew Rabin ., 1997. "Doing It Now or Later," Economics Working Papers, University of California at Berkeley 97-253, University of California at Berkeley.
  2. Maria De Paola & Francesca Gioia, 2013. "Impatience And Academic Performance. Less Effort And Less Ambitious Goals," Working Papers, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza (Ex Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica) 201302, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza (Ex Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica).
  3. Angrist, Joshua & Lang, Daniel W. & Oreopoulos, Philip, 2007. "Incentives and Services for College Achievement: Evidence from a Randomized Trial," IZA Discussion Papers 3134, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Stefano DellaVigna & Ulrike Malmendier, 2006. "Paying Not to Go to the Gym," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 694-719, June.
  5. Golsteyn B.H.H. & Lindahl L. & Grönqvist H., 2013. "Time preferences and lifetime outcomes," ROA Research Memorandum, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA) 019, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  6. Yona Rubinstein & James J. Heckman, 2001. "The Importance of Noncognitive Skills: Lessons from the GED Testing Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 145-149, May.
  7. Checchi, Daniele & Fiorio, Carlo V. & Leonardi, Marco, 2008. "Intergenerational Persistence in Educational Attainment in Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 3622, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Maria Paola & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2014. "The effectiveness of remedial courses in Italy: a fuzzy regression discontinuity design," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 365-386, April.
  9. Akerlof, George A, 1991. "Procrastination and Obedience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 1-19, May.
  10. S. Dellavigna., 2011. "Psychology and Economics: Evidence from the Field," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 5.
  11. Michael D. Grubb, 2006. "Selling to Overconfident Consumers," Discussion Papers, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research 06-018, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  12. Wong, Wei-Kang, 2008. "How much time-inconsistency is there and does it matter? Evidence on self-awareness, size, and effects," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 68(3-4), pages 645-656, December.
  13. Scott E. Carrell & Bruce Sacerdote, 2013. "Late Interventions Matter Too: The Case of College Coaching New Hampshire," NBER Working Papers 19031, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Castillo, Marco & Ferraro, Paul J. & Jordan, Jeffrey L. & Petrie, Ragan, 2011. "The today and tomorrow of kids: Time preferences and educational outcomes of children," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1377-1385.
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