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Does grade retention affect students' achievement? Some evidence from Spain

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  • J. Ignacio Garc𫑐鲥z
  • Marisa Hidalgo-Hidalgo
  • J. Antonio Robles-Zurita

Abstract

Grade retention practices are at the forefront of the educational debate. In this article, we measure the effect of grade retention on Spanish students' achievement by using data from Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). We find that grade retention has a negative impact on educational outcomes, but we confirm the importance of endogenous selection which makes observed differences between repeaters and nonrepeaters appear about 14% lower than they actually are. The effect on scores of repeating is much smaller (--10% of nonrepeaters' average) than the counterfactual reduction that nonrepeaters would suffer had they been retained as repeaters (--24% of their average). Furthermore, those who repeated a grade during primary education suffered more than those who repeated a grade in secondary school, although the effect of repeating at both times is, as expected, larger.

Suggested Citation

  • J. Ignacio Garc, 2014. "Does grade retention affect students' achievement? Some evidence from Spain," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(12), pages 1373-1392, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:46:y:2014:i:12:p:1373-1392
    DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2013.872761
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    Cited by:

    1. Stijn Baert & Matteo Picchio, 2020. "A Signal Of Train(Ability)? Grade Repetition And Hiring Chances," Working Papers 446, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
    2. 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.
    3. Ferreira Sequeda, Maria & Golsteyn, Bart & Parra Cely, Sergio, 2018. "The effect of grade retention on secondary school performance: Evidence from a natural experiment," ROA Research Memorandum 003, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    4. Agasisti, Tommaso & Cordero, Jose M., 2017. "The determinants of repetition rates in Europe: Early skills or subsequent parents’ help?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 129-146.
    5. José Antonio Molina Marfil & Oscar David Marcenaro Gutierrez & Ana Martín Marcos, 2016. "Procesos de enseñanza-aprendizaje y producción educativa: un análisis de la competencia matemática," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 11, in: José Manuel Cordero Ferrera & Rosa Simancas Rodríguez (ed.),Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 11, edition 1, volume 11, chapter 32, pages 585-604, Asociación de Economía de la Educación.
    6. José A. Robles-Zurita, 2017. "Cognitive skills and the LOGSE reform in Spain: evidence from PIAAC," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 401-415, November.
    7. Luis Alejandro Lopez–Agudo & Oscar Marcenaro–Gutierrez, 2019. "Are Spanish Children Taking Advantage of their Weekly Classroom Time?," Child Indicators Research, Springer;The International Society of Child Indicators (ISCI), vol. 12(1), pages 187-211, February.
    8. José Manuel Cordero Ferrera & Manuel Muñiz Pérez & Rosa Simancas Rodríguez, 2015. "The influence of socioeconomic factors on cognitive and non-cognitive educational outcomes," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 10, in: Marta Rahona López & Jennifer Graves (ed.),Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 10, edition 1, volume 10, chapter 21, pages 413-438, Asociación de Economía de la Educación.
    9. Álvaro Choi & María Gil & Mauro Mediavilla & Javier Valbuena, 2016. "Double toil and trouble: grade retention and academic performance," Working Papers 2016/7, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    10. Lucio Esposito & Sunil Mitra Kumar & Adrián Villaseñor, 2020. "The importance of being earliest: birth order and educational outcomes along the socioeconomic ladder in Mexico," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 33(3), pages 1069-1099, July.
    11. Taniguchi, Kyoko, 2015. "Determinants of grade repetition in primary school in sub-Saharan Africa: An event history analysis for rural Malawi," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 98-111.
    12. Oscar David Marcenaro Gutierrez & Luis Alejandro Lopez-Agudo, 2016. "Disentangling the effect of students’ maturity on academic achievement," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 11, in: José Manuel Cordero Ferrera & Rosa Simancas Rodríguez (ed.),Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 11, edition 1, volume 11, chapter 29, pages 535-550, Asociación de Economía de la Educación.
    13. José M. Cordero & Víctor Cristóbal & Daniel Santín, 2018. "Causal Inference On Education Policies: A Survey Of Empirical Studies Using Pisa, Timss And Pirls," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(3), pages 878-915, July.
    14. Luis Alejandro Lopez-Agudo & Miguel Ángel Ropero-García, 2020. "Out-of-School Use of Time and Its Association with Gender Differences in Educational Outcomes," Child Indicators Research, Springer;The International Society of Child Indicators (ISCI), vol. 13(4), pages 1335-1369, August.
    15. Juan-José Navarro & Javier García-Rubio & Pedro R Olivares, 2015. "The Relative Age Effect and Its Influence on Academic Performance," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 10(10), pages 1-18, October.
    16. Servaas van der Berg & Gabrielle Wills & Rebecca Selkirk & Charles Adams & Chris van Wyk, 2019. "The cost of repetition in South Africa," Working Papers 13/2019, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    17. Hugo Reis & Manuel Coutinho Pereira, 2014. "Grade retention during basic education in Portugal: determinants and impact on student achievement," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles and Banco de Portugal Economic Studies, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.

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