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Does lengthening the school day increase students' academic achievement? Results from a natural experiment in Chile

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  • Bellei, Cristián

Abstract

This study (an impact evaluation of the Chilean full school day program) uses difference-in-differences to estimate the effect of a large increase in instructional time on high school students' academic achievement. The main findings are (i) the program had a positive effect on students' achievement in both mathematics and language; (ii) the effect-size on language achievement was 0.05-0.07 standard deviations and not sensitive to control for covariates, different control groups, and historical trends; (iii) the effect on mathematics achievement was not sensitive to control for covariates, but was sensitive to use different control groups, and historical trends; the effect-size on mathematics achievement ranged from 0.00 to 0.12 standard deviations; and (iv) the program effect has been constant over time. Finally, there is evidence suggesting that the program had larger positive effects on rural students, students who attended public schools, and students situated in the upper part of the achievement distribution.

Suggested Citation

  • Bellei, Cristián, 2009. "Does lengthening the school day increase students' academic achievement? Results from a natural experiment in Chile," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 629-640, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:28:y:2009:i:5:p:629-640
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alejandra Mizala & Pilar Romaguera, 2002. "Equity and Educational Performance," ECONOMIA JOURNAL, THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION - LACEA, vol. 0(Spring 20), pages 219-274, January.
    2. Link, Charles R. & Mulligan, James G., 1986. "The merits of a longer school day," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 373-381, August.
    3. Levin, Henry M. & Tsang, Mun C., 1987. "The economics of student time," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 357-364, August.
    4. Claudio Sapelli & Bernardita Vial, 2002. "The Performance of Private and Public Schools in the Chilean Voucher System," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 39(118), pages 423-454.
    5. Patrick McEwan, 2001. "The Effectiveness of Public, Catholic, and Non-Religious Private Schools in Chile's Voucher System," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2), pages 103-128.
    6. Alejandra Mizala & Pilar Romaguera, 2000. "School Performance and Choice: The Chilean Experience," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(2), pages 392-417.
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