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Student Time Allocation and Educational Production Functions

  • Massimiliano BRATTI


    (Universit… di Milano, DEAS)

  • Stefano STAFFOLANI


    (Universita' Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Economia)

In this paper we aim to remedy some shortcomings in the economic literature on university student absenteeism and academic performance. We start by introducing a simple theoretical model in which students decide the optimal allocation of their time between lecture attendance, self-study and leisure. Under some speci.c assumptions, we .nd a positive relationship between lecture attendance and time devoted to self-study in each course, from which we infer that estimates of student performance regressions which omit self-study might be biased. Thus, we estimate an academic performance regression using data from .rst year undergraduate students of economics in the academic year 1998-99 at the University of Ancona (Italy) and .nd evidence that once self-study time is controlled for, the positive and signi.cant e.ect of lecture attendance for some courses disappears. This is likely to be important especially when student performance regressions are used to evaluate the effectiveness of course attendance and to inform the debate on the introduction of mandatory attendance on some courses to enhance student performance. JEL Class.: I21 Keywords: course attendance, student performance, time allocation

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Paper provided by Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali in its series Working Papers with number 170.

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Length: 27
Date of creation: Jul 2002
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Handle: RePEc:anc:wpaper:170
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  1. Durden, Garey C & Ellis, Larry V, 1995. "The Effects of Attendance on Student Learning in Principles of Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 343-46, May.
  2. Dolton, Peter & Marcenaro, Oscar D. & Navarro, Lucia, 2003. "The effective use of student time: a stochastic frontier production function case study," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 547-560, December.
  3. McGuckin, Robert H & Winkler, Donald R, 1979. "University Resources in the Production of Education," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(2), pages 242-48, May.
  4. Schmidt, Robert M, 1983. "Who Maximizes What? A Study in Student Time Allocation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 23-28, May.
  5. Massimiliano BRATTI & Stefano STAFFOLANI, 2001. "Performance accademica e scelta della facolta' universitaria: aspetti teorici e evidenza empirica," Working Papers 152, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  6. Mark B. Stewart, 1983. "On Least Squares Estimation when the Dependent Variable is Grouped," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 737-753.
  7. Edward P. Lazear, 2001. "Educational Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 777-803.
  8. Siegfried, John J & Fels, Rendigs, 1979. "Research on Teaching College Economics: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 923-69, September.
  9. Chizmar, John F & Zak, Thomas A, 1983. "Modeling Multiple Outputs in Educational Production Functions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 17-22, May.
  10. Stephen Devadoss & John Foltz, 1996. "Evaluation of Factors Influencing Student Class Attendance and Performance," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(3), pages 499-507.
  11. Pritchett, Lant & Filmer, Deon, 1999. "What education production functions really show: a positive theory of education expenditures," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 223-239, April.
  12. David Romer, 1993. "Do Students Go to Class? Should They?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 167-174, Summer.
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