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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

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)

  • Naylor, Robin A.

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)

  • Jeremy Smith

    (Department of Economics, 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 exploit the panel properties of the data to control for unobserved heterogeneity across students and hence for endogeneity between class absence and academic performance of students stemming from the likely influence of 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 provides potential instruments in our identification strategy. Among other results we find, from a quantile regression specification, that there is a causal effect of absence on performance for students : missing class leads to poorer performance. There is evidence 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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File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/workingpapers/2008/twerp_820.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 820.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:820

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

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Todd R. Stinebrickner & Ralph Stinebrickner, 2007. "The Causal Effect of Studying on Academic Performance," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20072, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Educational Production," NBER Working Papers 7349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Luca Stanca, 2004. "The effects of attendance on academic performance: panel data evidence for Introductory Microeconomics," HEW 0411003, EconWPA.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. David Romer, 1993. "Do Students Go to Class? Should They?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 167-174, Summer.
  12. Daniel R. Marburger, 2001. "Absenteeism and Undergraduate Exam Performance," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(2), pages 99-109, January.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Koenker, Roger, 2004. "Quantile regression for longitudinal data," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 74-89, October.
  17. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Jacob M. Markman & Steven G. Rivkin, 2001. "Does Peer Ability Affect Student Achievement?," NBER Working Papers 8502, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Liam Delaney & Colm Harmon & Martin Ryan, 2011. "The Role of Noncognitive Traits in Undergraduate Study Behaviours," Working Papers 201132, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  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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