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Pre-University Courses and Student Performance

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  • Maria De Paola
  • Vincenzo Scoppa

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Maria De Paola & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2011. "Pre-University Courses and Student Performance," QA - Rivista dell'Associazione Rossi-Doria, Associazione Rossi Doria, issue 2, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:rar:journl:0213
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Eric P. Bettinger & Bridget Terry Long, 2009. "Addressing the Needs of Underprepared Students in Higher Education: Does College Remediation Work?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(3).
    2. LaLonde, Robert J, 1986. "Evaluating the Econometric Evaluations of Training Programs with Experimental Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 604-620, September.
    3. 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.
    4. repec:fth:prinin:366 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J., 2003. "Human Capital Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 821, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 1996. "School Resources and Student Outcomes: An Overview of the Literature and New Evidence from North and South Carolina," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 31-50, Fall.
    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 648-660, 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. 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.
    12. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Educational production function; Matching estimators;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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