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Does grade retention affect achievement? Some evidence from Pisa

  • J. Ignacio García-Pérez

    (Universidad Pablo de Olavide)

  • Marisa Hidalgo-Hidalgo

    ()

    (Universidad Pablo de Olavide)

  • J. Antonio Robles-Zurita

    (Universidad Pablo de Olavide)

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.

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File URL: http://www.ieb.ub.edu/aplicacio/fitxers/2011/12/Doc2011-37.pdf
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Paper provided by Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB) in its series Working Papers with number 2011/37.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2011/12/doc2011-37
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  1. Prescott, David & Wilton, David, 1992. "The Determinants of Wage Changes in Indexed.and Nonindexed Contracts: A Switching Model," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(3), pages 331-55, July.
  2. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule To Estimate The Effect Of Class Size On Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575, May.
  3. Kelly Bedard & Elizabeth Dhuey, 2006. "The Persistence of Early Childhood Maturity: International Evidence of Long-Run Age Effects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1437-1472, November.
  4. 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, 06.
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