Threat of Grade Retention, Remedial Education and Student Achievement: Evidence from Upper Secondary Schools in Italy
We use a reform that was recently implemented in Italy to investigate the effects on academic achievement of more stringent requirements for the admission to the next grade at upper secondary school. We study how such effects are mediated by changes in family and school inputs, and in the student commitment to learn all school subjects including those usually considered as marginal components of the curriculum. Geographical discontinuities in the implementation of the reform allow us to set out the comparison of similar students undergoing alternative progression rules, and to shed light on whether, and to what extent, the reform has worked as a tool to improve short-term achievement gains. We document differential effects across curricular tracks, picturing at best – depending on the data employed – a marginal improvement for students in academic schools. We instead find sharp negative effects of the reform in technical and vocational schools, where the students enrolled come from less privileged backgrounds. These findings are accompanied by a substantial increase in the number of activities out of the normal school hours in technical and vocational schools, but not in academic schools. Also, we find that the reform has left unchanged the various family inputs that we consider, and that parents did not provide extra economic support to students facing an increased threat of grade retention. However, in contrast with the documented effects on achievement, we find that schools reacted to the additional administrative burdens and costs imposed by the reform by admitting more students to the next grade. We thus conclude that the reform has had a negative effect on motivation and engagement of the most struggling students, thus exacerbating existing inequalities.
|Date of creation:||Dec 2012|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org
|Order Information:|| Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2002. "The Inheritance of Inequality," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 3-30, Summer.
- Lex Borghans & Bart H.H. Golsteyn & James J. Heckman & Huub Meijers, 2009.
"Gender Differences in Risk Aversion and Ambiguity Aversion,"
NBER Working Papers
14713, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Borghans, Lex & Golsteyn, Bart H.H. & Heckman, James J. & Meijers, Huub, 2009. "Gender Differences in Risk Aversion and Ambiguity Aversion," IZA Discussion Papers 3985, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Borghans Lex & Golsteyn Bart & Heckman James & Meijers Huub, 2009. "Gender Differences in Risk Aversion and Ambiguity Aversion," ROA Research Memorandum 005, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
- Cappellari, Lorenzo & Lucifora, Claudio, 2008.
"The 'Bologna process' and College enrolment decisions,"
ISER Working Paper Series
2008-16, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
- Cappellari, Lorenzo & Lucifora, Claudio, 2009. "The "Bologna Process" and college enrollment decisions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 638-647, December.
- Cappellari, Lorenzo & Lucifora, Claudio, 2008. "The "Bologna Process" and College Enrolment Decisions," IZA Discussion Papers 3444, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Lorenzo Cappellari & Claudio Lucifora, 2008. "The "Bologna Process" and College Enrolment Decisions," DISCE - Quaderni dell'Istituto di Economia dell'Impresa e del Lavoro ieil0051, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
- Juan Carlos Calcagno & Bridget Terry Long, 2008. "The Impact of Postsecondary Remediation Using a Regression Discontinuity Approach: Addressing Endogenous Sorting and Noncompliance," NBER Working Papers 14194, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Julian R. Betts & Jeff Grogger, 2000.
"The Impact of Grading Standards on Student Achievement, Educational Attainment, and Entry-Level Earnings,"
NBER Working Papers
7875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Betts, Julian R. & Grogger, Jeff, 2003. "The impact of grading standards on student achievement, educational attainment, and entry-level earnings," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 343-352, August.
- George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2002. "Identity and Schooling: Some Lessons for the Economics of Education," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1167-1201, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7086. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.