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Does grade retention affect achievement? Some evidence from Pisa

Author

Listed:
  • J. Ignacio García-Pérez

    (Universidad Pablo de Olavide)

  • Marisa Hidalgo-Hidalgo

    () (Universidad Pablo de Olavide)

  • J. Antonio Robles-Zurita

    (Universidad Pablo de Olavide)

Abstract

Grade retention practices are at the forefront of the educational debate. In this paper, we use PISA 2009 data for Spain to measure the effect of grade retention on students’achievement. One important problem when analyzing this question is that school outcomes and the propensity to repeat a grade are likely to be determined simultaneously. We address this problem by estimating a Switching Regression Model. 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 non-repeaters appear 14.6% lower than they actually are. The effect on PISA scores of repeating is much smaller (-10% of non-repeaters’average) than the counterfactual reduction that non-repeaters 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 of secondary school, although the effect of repeating at both times is, as expected, much larger.

Suggested Citation

  • J. Ignacio García-Pérez & Marisa Hidalgo-Hidalgo & J. Antonio Robles-Zurita, 2011. "Does grade retention affect achievement? Some evidence from Pisa," Working Papers 2011/37, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  • Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2011/12/doc2011-37
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Anna Sanz-de-Galdeano & Daniela Vuri, 2007. "Parental Divorce and Students' Performance: Evidence from Longitudinal Data," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 69(3), pages 321-338, June.
    4. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule to Estimate the Effect of Class Size on Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Grade retention; educational scores; PISA;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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