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Persistence and Academic Success in University


  • Martin D. Dooley
  • A. Abigail Payne
  • A. Leslie Robb


We use a unique set of linked administrative data to explore the determinants of persistence and academic success in university. The explanatory power of high school grades greatly dominates that of other variables such as university program, gender, and neighbourhood and high school characteristics. Indeed, characteristics such as average neighbourhood income or high school standardized test scores have weak links with suc-cess in university. These results raise challenging questions of what lies behind the variation in high school grades and what mix of individual, home, and school inputs ultimately accounts for university outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin D. Dooley & A. Abigail Payne & A. Leslie Robb, 2012. "Persistence and Academic Success in University," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 38(3), pages 315-339, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:38:y:2012:i:3:p:315-339

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Boys, retention, and multiple regression
      by Nick Rowe in Worthwhile Canadian Initiative on 2013-03-14 19:11:02


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Zwick, Thomas, 2012. "Determinants of individual academic achievement: Group selectivity effects have many dimensions," ZEW Discussion Papers 12-081, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    2. Alejandro Abarca & Rolando Leiva & Juan Robalino & Milagro Saborio-Rodriguez, 2016. "Diferencias en la permanencia y el desempeño en la educación superior entre estudiantes provenientes de colegios públicas y privadas," Working Papers 201603, Universidad de Costa Rica, revised Jun 2016.
    3. Felice Martinello, 2015. "Course Withdrawal Dates, Tuition Refunds, and Student Persistence in University Programs," Working Papers 1501, Brock University, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2015.
    4. Stephen E. Childs & Ross Finnie & Felice Martinello, 2017. "Postsecondary Student Persistence and Pathways: Evidence From the YITS-A in Canada," Research in Higher Education, Springer;Association for Institutional Research, vol. 58(3), pages 270-294, May.

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    JEL classification:

    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions


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