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Gender differences in exposure to more instruction time. Evidence from Italy

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  • Elena Claudia Meroni
  • Giovanni Abbiati

Abstract

This paper investigates the short-term effects on achievement, study behaviours and attitude of an intervention providing extra instruction time to students in lower secondary schools in southern Italy. We use a difference-in-differences strategy and compare two contiguous cohorts of students enrolled in the same class for two consecutive years. We control for sorting of students and teachers across classes using the fact that, due to a recent reform, the group of teachers assigned to each class is stable over time. We find that the programme increased performances in mathematics but found no effect for Italian language test scores; the programme increased positive attitudes towards both subjects. We investigate the heterogeneity of the effects focusing on the gender dimension and find that boys and girls react differently to the intervention: girls use the extra instruction time as a complement to regular home study, while boys use it as a substitute.

Suggested Citation

  • Elena Claudia Meroni & Giovanni Abbiati, 2014. "Gender differences in exposure to more instruction time. Evidence from Italy," Working Papers 064, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
  • Handle: RePEc:don:donwpa:064
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    File URL: ftp://ftp.dondena.unibocconi.it/WorkingPapers/Dondena_WP064.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lavy, Victor, 2012. "Expanding School Resources and Increasing Time on Task: Effects of a Policy Experiment in Israel on Student Academic Achievement and Behaviour," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 95, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    2. Lex Borghans & Bart H. H. Golsteyn & James J. Heckman & Huub Meijers, 2009. "Gender Differences in Risk Aversion and Ambiguity Aversion," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 649-658, 04-05.
    3. Dave E. Marcotte & Steven W. Hemelt, 2008. "Unscheduled School Closings and Student Performance," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 3(3), pages 316-338, July.
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    5. Golsteyn, B.H.H. & Schils, T., 2014. "Gender gaps in primary school achievement. A decomposition into endowments and returns to IQ and non-cognitive factors," Research Memorandum 017, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    6. Meyer, Erik & Van Klaveren, Chris, 2013. "The effectiveness of extended day programs: Evidence from a randomized field experiment in the Netherlands," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 1-11.
    7. Zimmer, Ron & Hamilton, Laura & Christina, Rachel, 2010. "After-school tutoring in the context of no Child Left Behind: Effectiveness of two programs in the Pittsburgh Public Schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 18-28, February.
    8. Nicole M. Fortin & Philip Oreopoulos & Shelley Phipps, 2015. "Leaving Boys Behind: Gender Disparities in High Academic Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(3), pages 549-579.
    9. Victor Lavy & Analia Schlosser, 2005. "Targeted Remedial Education for Underperforming Teenagers: Costs and Benefits," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(4), pages 839-874, October.
    10. repec:mpr:mprres:4230 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Bellei, Cristián, 2009. "Does lengthening the school day increase students' academic achievement? Results from a natural experiment in Chile," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 629-640, October.
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    14. repec:mpr:mprres:4235 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Battistin, Erich & Meroni, Elena Claudia, 2016. "Should we increase instruction time in low achieving schools? Evidence from Southern Italy," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 39-56.
    16. Christopher Cornwell & David B. Mustard & Jessica Van Parys, 2013. "Noncognitive Skills and the Gender Disparities in Test Scores and Teacher Assessments: Evidence from Primary School," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(1), pages 236-264.
    17. Philipp Mandel & Bernd Süssmuth, 2011. "Total Instructional Time Exposure and Student Achievement: An Extreme Bounds Analysis Based on German State-Level Variation," CESifo Working Paper Series 3580, CESifo Group Munich.
    18. Lex Borghans & Bart H.H. Golsteyn & James J. Heckman & Huub Meijers, 2009. "Gender Differences in Risk Aversion and Ambiguity," Working Papers 200903, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
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