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Does early bird catch the worm or a lower GPA? Evidence from a liberal arts college

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  • Timothy M. Diette
  • Manu Raghav

Abstract

Research in psychology has shown that early morning classes are not conducive to learning because of the peculiar sleep cycles of adolescents and young adults that cause them to be especially groggy in the morning. Our study examines the relationship between the times that classes are offered and the grades that students in these classes earn at a highly selective liberal arts college. Our main findings are that morning classes are harmful for student achievement. Grades are especially lower for classes that were scheduled at 8 am and 9 am. Moreover, while students of both genders are adversely affected by early morning courses, the effects are particularly pronounced for male students. This institution assigns students randomly to different sections of the same course, thus creating a quasi-natural experiment and enabling us to control for unobserved characteristics of students. In addition, we include student and faculty fixed effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy M. Diette & Manu Raghav, 2017. "Does early bird catch the worm or a lower GPA? Evidence from a liberal arts college," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(33), pages 3341-3350, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:49:y:2017:i:33:p:3341-3350
    DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2016.1259750
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Cortes, Kalena E. & Bricker, Jesse & Rohlfs, Chris, 2010. "The Role of Specific Subjects in Education Production Functions: Evidence from Morning Classes in Chicago Public High Schools," IZA Discussion Papers 5031, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Nolan G. Pope, 2016. "How the Time of Day Affects Productivity: Evidence from School Schedules," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(1), pages 1-11, March.
    3. Edwards, Finley, 2012. "Early to rise? The effect of daily start times on academic performance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 970-983.
    4. Eric R Eide & Mark H Showalter, 2012. "Sleep and Student Achievement," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 38(4), pages 512-524.
    5. Scott E. Carrell & Teny Maghakian & James E. West, 2011. "A's from Zzzz's? The Causal Effect of School Start Time on the Academic Achievement of Adolescents," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 62-81, August.
    6. Timothy M Diette & Manu Raghav, 2015. "Class Size Matters: Heterogeneous Effects of Larger Classes on College Student Learning," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 41(2), pages 273-283, March.
    7. repec:taf:edecon:v:24:y:2016:i:6:p:612-621 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Jesse Bricker & Kalena E. Cortes & Chris Rohlfs, 2010. "The role of specific subjects in education production functions: evidence from morning classes in Chicago public high schools," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2010-33, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US).
    9. Peter Hinrichs, 2011. "When the Bell Tolls: The Effects of School Starting Times on Academic Achievement," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 6(4), pages 486-507, October.
    10. Dills, Angela K. & Hernández-Julián, Rey, 2008. "Course scheduling and academic performance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 646-654, December.
    11. Alexandra C. Achen & Paul N. Courant, 2009. "What Are Grades Made Of?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(3), pages 77-92, Summer.
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    1. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:67:y:2018:i:c:p:158-170 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:spr:reihed:v:59:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s11162-017-9478-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:62:y:2018:i:c:p:12-15 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • A22 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Undergraduate
    • Z18 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Public Policy

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