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Resits in Higher Education: Merely a Bar to Jump Over, or Do They Give a Pedagogical `Leg Up’?

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  • Steven Proud

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Abstract

When students fail an examination at the end of their first year, they are offered a free resit examination, which they merely need to pass to progress into the second year. These resits anecdotally provide a dual purpose of testing that students have achieved the required level of attainment to progress, and to incentivise additional effort from these low attaining students. This paper uses regression discontinuity design to attempt to estimate the effect of resits in first year statistics with econometrics examinations on future outcomes. Whilst resits alone appear to make zero significant effect on outcomes, students who perform well on the resit examination perform 0.7 standard deviations better in second year microeconomics than similar students who do not receive resit examinations. These effects, if replicated more widely, could be worth up to £48,000 across the lifetime of each student.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven Proud, 2014. "Resits in Higher Education: Merely a Bar to Jump Over, or Do They Give a Pedagogical `Leg Up’?," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 14/645, School of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  • Handle: RePEc:bri:uobdis:14/645
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert Metcalfe & Simon Burgess and Steven Proud, 2011. "Student effort and educational attainment: Using the England football team to identify the education production function," Economics Series Working Papers 586, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2010. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 281-355, June.
    3. Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2002. "The Promise and Pitfalls of Using Imprecise School Accountability Measures," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(4), pages 91-114, Fall.
    4. Feng, Andy & Graetz, Georg, 2017. "A question of degree: The effects of degree class on labor market outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 140-161.
    5. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2004. "Remedial Education and Student Achievement: A Regression-Discontinuity Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 226-244, February.
    6. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2003. "On The Specification and Estimation of The Production Function for Cognitive Achievement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages 3-33, February.
    7. Matsudaira, Jordan D., 2008. "Mandatory summer school and student achievement," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 829-850, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andreas Ostermaier, 2018. "Incentives for students: effects of certificates and deadlines on student performance," Journal of Business Economics, Springer, vol. 88(1), pages 65-96, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    resits; examinations; economics.;

    JEL classification:

    • A22 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Undergraduate

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