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The determinants of repetition rates in Europe: Early skills or subsequent parents’ help?

Listed author(s):
  • Agasisti, Tommaso
  • Cordero, Jose M.

In this paper, we examine the factors that are associated with the probability for a student to be retained in primary school; understanding such phenomenon is very important, because the literature points at claiming that retention perpetrates socioeconomic and educational inequality, instead of reducing it. Empirically, we estimate a multivariate logistic regression with the aim of identifying cross-country determinants of grade retention using data about 16 European countries participating in PIRLS 2011 using data about entry age at school and grade enrollment to identify retained students. Our results highlight that socioeconomic background is not the only factor that plays a role. Early-acquired skills do reduce the probability for a child to become a repeater; thus, the policy-makers should devote their effort in helping families to undertake preschool activities that develop skills also before starting formal schooling. Later assistance with homework is helpful as well, but with a lower magnitude and effect, which is offset if early skills are properly accounted for.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016189381630062X
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Policy Modeling.

Volume (Year): 39 (2017)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 129-146

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jpolmo:v:39:y:2017:i:1:p:129-146
DOI: 10.1016/j.jpolmod.2016.07.002
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505735

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  1. Dong, Yingying, 2010. "Kept back to get ahead? Kindergarten retention and academic performance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 219-236, February.
  2. Corman, H., 2003. "The effects of state policies, individual characteristics, family characteristics, and neighbourhood characteristics on grade repetition in the United States," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 409-420, August.
  3. Pedro Carneiro & Costas Meghir & Matthias Parey, 2013. "Maternal Education, Home Environments, And The Development Of Children And Adolescents," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11, pages 123-160, January.
  4. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance, 2006. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  5. J. Ignacio García-Pérez & Marisa Hidalgo-Hidalgo & J. Antonio Robles-Zurita, 2014. "Does grade retention affect students' achievement? Some evidence from Spain," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(12), pages 1373-1392, April.
  6. Lee, Jong-Wha & Barro, Robert J, 2001. "Schooling Quality in a Cross-Section of Countries," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(272), pages 465-488, November.
  7. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman & Susanne M. Schennach, 2010. "Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(3), pages 883-931, 05.
  8. Michèle Belot & Vincent Vandenberghe, 2014. "Evaluating the 'threat' effects of grade repetition: exploiting the 2001 reform by the French-Speaking Community of Belgium," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(1), pages 73-89, February.
  9. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2004. "Remedial Education and Student Achievement: A Regression-Discontinuity Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 226-244, February.
  10. Ponzo, Michela & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2014. "The long-lasting effects of school entry age: Evidence from Italian students," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 578-599.
  11. Kelly Bedard & Elizabeth Dhuey, 2006. "The Persistence of Early Childhood Maturity: International Evidence of Long-Run Age Effects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1437-1472.
  12. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2009. "The Effect of Grade Retention on High School Completion," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(3), pages 33-58, July.
  13. Patrick J. McEwan & Joseph S. Shapiro, 2008. "The Benefits of Delayed Primary School Enrollment: Discontinuity Estimates Using Exact Birth Dates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
  14. Ponzo, Michela, 2013. "Does bullying reduce educational achievement? An evaluation using matching estimators," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 1057-1078.
  15. Todd E. Elder & Darren H. Lubotsky, 2009. "Kindergarten Entrance Age and Children’s Achievement: Impacts of State Policies, Family Background, and Peers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(3).
  16. Eide, Eric R. & Showalter, Mark H., 2001. "The effect of grade retention on educational and labor market outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 563-576, December.
  17. Pedraja-Chaparro, Francisco & Santín, Daniel & Simancas, Rosa, 2015. "Determinants of grade retention in France and Spain: Does birth month matter?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 820-834.
  18. Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 1995. "The Determinants of Children's Attainments: A Review of Methods and Findings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1829-1878, December.
  19. Agasisti, Tommaso & Cordero-Ferrera, Jose M., 2013. "Educational disparities across regions: A multilevel analysis for Italy and Spain," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 1079-1102.
  20. 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 3-33, February.
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