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Procrastination, academic success and the effectiveness of a remedial program

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  • De Paola, Maria
  • Scoppa, Vincenzo

Abstract

Procrastination produces harmful effects on human capital investments and study activities. Using data from a large sample of Italian undergraduates, we measure procrastination with the actual behavior of students, considering their delays in finalizing their university enrolment procedure. We firstly show that procrastination is a strong predictor of students’ educational achievements. This result holds true when controlling for quite reliable measures of cognitive abilities, a number of background characteristics, family income and indicators of students’ motivation. Secondly, using a Regression Discontinuity Design, we investigate the effects of a remedial program in helping students with different propensities to procrastinate. We show that the policy especially helps students who tend to procrastinate. Even though we are not able to identify the specific mechanism driving this effect, our results suggest that policies that are not directly aimed at handling procrastination can also help to solve self-control problems.

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  • De Paola, Maria & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2015. "Procrastination, academic success and the effectiveness of a remedial program," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 217-236.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:115:y:2015:i:c:p:217-236
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2014.12.007
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    2. Cavalletti, Barbara & Corsi, Matteo & Persico, Luca & di Bella, Enrico, 2021. "Public university orientation for high-school students. A quasi-experimental assessment of the efficiency gains from nudging better career choices," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
    3. Damgaard, Mette Trier & Nielsen, Helena Skyt, 2018. "Nudging in education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 313-342.
    4. Ignacio García-Pérez, J. & Hidalgo-Hidalgo, Marisa, 2017. "No student left behind? Evidence from the Programme for School Guidance in Spain," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 97-111.
    5. Marianna Battaglia & Marisa Hidalgo-Hidalgo, 2020. "Non-Cognitive Skills and Remedial Education: Good News for Girls," Working Papers 20.10, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
    6. Berlingieri, Francesco & Diegmann, André & Sprietsma, Maresa, 2022. "Preferred field of study and academic performance," ZEW Discussion Papers 22-017, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    7. De Paola, Maria & Gioia, Francesca & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2018. "The adverse consequences of tournaments: Evidence from a field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 151(C), pages 1-18.
    8. Oliver Himmler & Robert Jäckle & Philipp Weinschenk, 2019. "Soft Commitments, Reminders, and Academic Performance," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 114-142, April.
    9. Wehner, Caroline & Schils, Trudie, 2019. "Educational achievement and gender differences: The role of the interaction between emotional stability and conscientiousness," Research Memorandum 021, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    10. De Paola, Maria & Gioia, Francesca & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2022. "Online Teaching, Procrastination and Students’ Achievement: Evidence from COVID-19 Induced Remote Learning," IZA Discussion Papers 15031, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Pugatch, Todd & Schroeder, Elizabeth & Wilson, Nicholas, 2022. "Study More Tomorrow," GLO Discussion Paper Series 1115, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    12. De Paola, Maria & Lombardo, Rosetta & Pupo, Valeria & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2021. "Do Women Shy Away from Public Speaking? A Field Experiment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C).
    13. Non, Arjan & Tempelaar, Dirk, 2016. "Time preferences, study effort, and academic performance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 36-61.
    14. Daniel Horn & Hubert Janos Kiss, 2018. "Which preferences associate with school performance?—Lessons from an exploratory study with university students," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 13(2), pages 1-32, February.
    15. Behlen, Lars & Himmler, Oliver & Jaeckle, Robert, 2022. "Can defaults change behavior when post-intervention effort is required? Evidence from education," MPRA Paper 112962, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Andreas Ostermaier, 2018. "Incentives for students: effects of certificates and deadlines on student performance," Journal of Business Economics, Springer, vol. 88(1), pages 65-96, January.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Procrastination; Time consistency; Impatience; Academic success; Dropout; Remedial courses;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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