IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Mathematics camps: A gift for gifted students?


  • Fenoll, Ainoa Aparicio
  • Moscarola, Flavia Coda
  • Zaccagni, Sarah


We evaluate the short-run impact of a mathematics camp for gifted high school students. During the camp, studets work in teams, trying to solve advanced mathematical problems with the help of manipulatives. We randomize participation in the camp and test the effects of such participation on problem-solving skills, personality traits, and career intentions. Results show that participants improve their problem-solving skills, especially in questions that require the use of logic. We also find positive effects on students’ personality traits: students declare to be less neurotic and more extroverted. Gifted students with relatively lower school math scores benefit more from the program. Finally, participating in the mathematics camp makes students more willing to go to university.

Suggested Citation

  • Fenoll, Ainoa Aparicio & Moscarola, Flavia Coda & Zaccagni, Sarah, 2021. "Mathematics camps: A gift for gifted students?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 191(C), pages 738-751.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:191:y:2021:i:c:p:738-751
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2021.09.036

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL:
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Joseph P. Romano & Michael Wolf, 2005. "Stepwise Multiple Testing as Formalized Data Snooping," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(4), pages 1237-1282, July.
    2. Alan B. Krueger, 1999. "Experimental Estimates of Education Production Functions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 497-532.
    3. Sa A. Bui & Steven G. Craig & Scott A. Imberman, 2014. "Is Gifted Education a Bright Idea? Assessing the Impact of Gifted and Talented Programs on Students," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 30-62, August.
    4. Rachana Bhatt, 2011. "A Review of Gifted and Talented Education in the United States," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 6(4), pages 557-582, October.
    5. Charles T. Clotfelter & Helen F. Ladd & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2015. "The Aftermath of Accelerating Algebra: Evidence from District Policy Initiatives," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(1), pages 159-188.
    6. David J. Deming & Kadeem L. Noray, 2018. "STEM Careers and the Changing Skill Requirements of Work," NBER Working Papers 25065, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. repec:hrv:hksfac:34298862 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Hvidman, Charlotte & Koch, Alexander K. & Nafziger, Julia & Nielsen, Søren Albeck & Rosholm, Michael, 2020. "An Intensive, School-Based Learning Camp Targeting Academic and Non-Cognitive Skills Evaluated in a Randomized Trial," IZA Discussion Papers 13771, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Aughinbaugh, Alison, 2012. "The effects of high school math curriculum on college attendance: Evidence from the NLSY97," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 861-870.
    10. Krueger, Alan B & Whitmore, Diane M, 2001. "The Effect of Attending a Small Class in the Early Grades on College-Test Taking and Middle School Test Results: Evidence from Project STAR," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(468), pages 1-28, January.
    11. Joshua Angrist & Victor Lavy, 2009. "The Effects of High Stakes High School Achievement Awards: Evidence from a Randomized Trial," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1384-1414, September.
    12. Kalena E. Cortes & Joshua S. Goodman & Takako Nomi, 2015. "Intensive Math Instruction and Educational Attainment: Long-Run Impacts of Double-Dose Algebra," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(1), pages 108-158.
    13. Stephen Machin & Sandra McNally & Costas Meghir, 2004. "Improving Pupil Performance in English Secondary Schools: Excellence in Cities," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 396-405, 04/05.
    14. David Card & Laura Giuliano, 2014. "Does Gifted Education Work? For Which Students?," NBER Working Papers 20453, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2004. "The Impact of Teacher Training on Student Achievement: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from School Reform Efforts in Chicago," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
    16. Glenn Ellison & Ashley Swanson, 2016. "Do Schools Matter for High Math Achievement? Evidence from the American Mathematics Competitions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(6), pages 1244-1277, June.
    17. Bertoni, Marco & Brunello, Giorgio & De Benedetto, Marco Alberto & De Paola, Maria, 2021. "Does monitoring deter future cheating? The case of external examiners in Italian schools," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 201(C).
    18. Will Dobbie & Roland G. Fryer Jr., 2013. "Getting beneath the Veil of Effective Schools: Evidence from New York City," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 28-60, October.
    19. Cl'ement de Chaisemartin & Jaime Ramirez-Cuellar, 2019. "At What Level Should One Cluster Standard Errors in Paired and Small-Strata Experiments?," Papers 1906.00288,, revised Sep 2022.
    20. Maestri, Virginia, 2013. "Promoting scientific faculties: Does it work? Evidence from Italy," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 168-180.
    21. Pau Balart & Matthijs Oosterveen, 2019. "Females show more sustained performance during test-taking than males," Nature Communications, Nature, vol. 10(1), pages 1-11, December.
    22. Balart, Pau & Oosterveen, Matthijs & Webbink, Dinand, 2018. "Test scores, noncognitive skills and economic growth," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 134-153.
    23. Blazar, David, 2015. "Effective teaching in elementary mathematics: Identifying classroom practices that support student achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 16-29.
    24. Matsudaira, Jordan D., 2008. "Mandatory summer school and student achievement," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 829-850, February.
    25. Paola Giuliano & Antonio Spilimbergo, 2014. "Growing up in a Recession," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(2), pages 787-817.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Ainoa Aparicio Fenoll & Flavia Coda-Moscarola & Sarah Zaccagni, 2021. "Mathematics Camps: A Gift for Gifted Students," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 647, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    2. Ainoa Aparicio Fenoll & Sarah Zaccagni, 2021. "Gender Mix and Team Performance: Differences between Exogenously and Endogenously Formed Teams," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 646, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    3. Figlio, D. & Karbownik, K. & Salvanes, K.G., 2016. "Education Research and Administrative Data," Handbook of the Economics of Education,, Elsevier.
    4. Stephen Machin & Sandra McNally, 2012. "The Evaluation of English Education Policies," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 219(1), pages 15-25, January.
    5. Victor Lavy & Analia Schlosser, 2005. "Targeted Remedial Education for Underperforming Teenagers: Costs and Benefits," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(4), pages 839-874, October.
    6. Stephen Machin & Sandra McNally & Costas Meghir, 2010. "Resources and Standards in Urban Schools," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(4), pages 365-393.
    7. Marie Connolly & Catherine Haeck, 2018. "Le lien entre la taille des classes et les compétences cognitives et non cognitives," CIRANO Project Reports 2018rp-18, CIRANO.
    8. Booij, Adam S. & Haan, Ferry & Plug, Erik, 2016. "Enriching Students Pays Off: Evidence from an Individualized Gifted and Talented Program in Secondary Education," IZA Discussion Papers 9757, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. David Card & Laura Giuliano, 2016. "Can Tracking Raise the Test Scores of High-Ability Minority Students?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(10), pages 2783-2816, October.
    10. Simon Briole, 2019. "From Teacher Quality to Teaching Quality: Instructional Productivity and Teaching Practices in the US," Working Papers halshs-01993616, HAL.
    11. Lavy, V & Goldstein, Y, 2022. "Gifted Children Programs Short and Long-Term Impact : Higher Education, Earnings, and the Knowledge-Economy," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 609, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    12. Lavy, Victor & Goldstein, Yoav, 2022. "Gifted Children Programs’ Short and Long-Term Impact : Higher Education, Earnings, and the Knowledge-Economy," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1396, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    13. Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2015. "Current themes in education policy in the United States," Chapters, in: John Karl Scholz & Hyungypo Moon & Sang-Hyup Lee (ed.), Social Policies in an Age of Austerity, chapter 7, pages 165-180, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    14. Alexandra de Gendre & Nicolás Salamanca, 2020. "On the Mechanisms of Ability Peer Effects," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2020n19, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    15. David M. Welsch & David M. Zimmer, 2018. "Do High School Gifted Programs Lead to Later-in-Life Success?," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 201-218, June.
    16. Dinand Webbink, 2005. "Causal Effects in Education," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(4), pages 535-560, September.
    17. Taylor, Eric, 2014. "Spending more of the school day in math class: Evidence from a regression discontinuity in middle school," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 162-181.
    18. Faten DARWEZ & Khaled JEGUIRIM & Christopher R. BRYANT, 2020. "Class Size and Educational Achievement in Tunisia: A Spatial Econometric Approach," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 52, pages 83-104.
    19. Lisa Barrow & Cecilia Elena Rouse, 2005. "Causality, causality, causality: the view of education inputs and outputs from economics," Working Paper Series WP-05-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    20. Lisa Simon, 2019. "Mikroökonometrische Analysen der Determinanten von Individuellem Arbeitsmarkterfolg," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 83.

    More about this item


    Randomized control trial; Mathematics; Extra-curricular courses; Gifted students; Talented students;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D04 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Policy: Formulation; Implementation; Evaluation
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:191:y:2021:i:c:p:738-751. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.