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Pre-University Courses and Student Performance

  • Maria De Paola
  • Vincenzo Scoppa

In this paper we investigate whether remedial courses, designed to fill in the gaps in basic skills, bring about any improvement in undergraduate student attainment. Our analysis is based on a project financed by the Regione Calabria, which provided a number of educational/training activities to all freshmen enrolled at the University of Calabria at the beginning of the academic year 2008-09. The problems related to self-selection were addressed both by using the very detailed information we have available on a large number of individual characteristics and identifying a control group consisting of students who had not participated in the activities for various incidental reasons. From our analysis emerges a positive effect of remedial courses on student performance during the first year of their academic career. These results prove robust to use of a matching estimator.

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Article provided by Associazione Rossi Doria in its journal QA.

Volume (Year): (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)

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Handle: RePEc:rar:journl:0213
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  1. LaLonde, Robert J, 1986. "Evaluating the Econometric Evaluations of Training Programs with Experimental Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 604-20, September.
  2. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro, 2003. "Human Capital Policy," NBER Working Papers 9495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Sascha O. Becker & Andrea Ichino, 2002. "Estimation of average treatment effects based on propensity scores," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(4), pages 358-377, November.
  4. Eric P. Bettinger & Bridget Terry Long, 2005. "Addressing the Needs of Under-Prepared Students in Higher Education: Does College Remediation Work?," NBER Working Papers 11325, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1996. "School Resources and Student Outcomes: An Overview of the Literature and New Evidence from North and South Carolina," Working Papers 745, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  6. Thomas Fuchs & Ludger Wößmann, 2007. "What accounts for international differences in student performance? A re-examination using PISA data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 433-464, May.
  7. Ashenfelter, Orley C, 1978. "Estimating the Effect of Training Programs on Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(1), pages 47-57, February.
  8. Edwin Leuven & Hessel Oosterbeek, 2008. "An alternative approach to estimate the wage returns to private-sector training," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(4), pages 423-434.
  9. Ashenfelter, Orley & Card, David, 1985. "Using the Longitudinal Structure of Earnings to Estimate the Effect of Training Programs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(4), pages 648-60, November.
  10. Juan Carlos Calcagno & Bridget Terry Long, 2008. "The Impact of Postsecondary Remediation Using a Regression Discontinuity Approach: Addressing Endogenous Sorting and Noncompliance," NBER Working Papers 14194, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Alberto Abadie & David Drukker & Jane Leber Herr & Guido W. Imbens, 2004. "Implementing matching estimators for average treatment effects in Stata," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(3), pages 290-311, September.
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