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How Do Shocks to Non-Cognitive Skills Affect Test Scores?

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  • Behncke, Stefanie

    () (Swiss National Bank)

Abstract

This paper investigates the extent to which test performance is affected by shocks to non-cognitive skills. 440 students took a low stakes mathematics test. About half of them were exposed to positive affirmation while being given test instructions, whereas the other half served as controls. The students were allocated to 14 tutorials and randomisation was conducted at the tutorial level. Mean comparisons suggest that test scores were raised by the intervention. In particular, students with low maths grades and with self-assessed difficulties in maths gained from the positive affirmation. Results suggest that teachers might increase their students' performance by interventions to their non-cognitive skills. Inference is obtained by four different methods that take into account that randomisation was clustered at the tutorial group level. These methods are evaluated in a Monte Carlo study for data generating processes which resemble actual data. We find that randomisation inference followed by the wild cluster bootstrap have superior size properties compared to conventional approaches.

Suggested Citation

  • Behncke, Stefanie, 2009. "How Do Shocks to Non-Cognitive Skills Affect Test Scores?," IZA Discussion Papers 4222, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4222
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Schlotter, 2011. "Age at Preschool Entrance and Noncognitive Skills before School - An Instrumental Variable Approach," ifo Working Paper Series 112, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    2. Elizabeth W. Cavadel & Jacqueline F. Kauff & Mary Anne Anderson & Sheena McConnell & Michelle Derr, "undated". "Self-Regulation and Goal Attainment: A New Perspective for Employment Programs," Mathematica Policy Research Reports e49aff23628f45bd847fd2e86, Mathematica Policy Research.
    3. Stéphane Carcillo & Rodrigo Fernandez & Sebastian Königs & Andreea Minea, 2015. "NEET Youth in the Aftermath of the Crisis," Sciences Po publications 164, Sciences Po.
    4. Almlund, Mathilde & Duckworth, Angela Lee & Heckman, James & Kautz, Tim, 2011. "Personality Psychology and Economics," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    5. Martin Schlotter, 2012. "Educational Production in Preschools and Schools - Microeconometric Evidence from Germany," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 41.
    6. Marta De Philippis & Federico Rossi, 2016. "Parents, Schools and Human Capital Differences across Countries," Discussion Papers 1614, Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    test scores; non-cognitive skills; cluster randomised trial; wild cluster bootstrap; randomisation inference;

    JEL classification:

    • C15 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Statistical Simulation Methods: General
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

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