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High-School Exit Examinations and the Schooling Decisions of Teenagers: A Multi-Dimensional Regression-Discontinuity Analysis

Author

Listed:
  • John P. Papay
  • John B. Willett
  • Richard J. Murnane

Abstract

We ask whether failing one or more of the state-mandated high-school exit examinations affects whether students graduate from high school. Using a new multi-dimensional regression-discontinuity approach, we examine simultaneously scores on mathematics and English language arts tests. Barely passing both examinations, as opposed to failing them, increases the probability that students graduate by 7.6 percentage points. The effects are greater for students scoring near each cutoff than for students further away from them. We explain how the multi-dimensional regression-discontinuity approach provides insights over conventional methods for making causal inferences when multiple variables assign individuals to a range of treatments.

Suggested Citation

  • John P. Papay & John B. Willett & Richard J. Murnane, 2011. "High-School Exit Examinations and the Schooling Decisions of Teenagers: A Multi-Dimensional Regression-Discontinuity Analysis," NBER Working Papers 17112, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17112
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    Cited by:

    1. Shao-Hsun Keng, 2016. "The Effect of a Stricter Academic Dismissal Policy on Course Selection, Student Effort, and Grading Leniency," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 11(2), pages 203-224, Spring.
    2. Paco Martorell & Isaac McFarlin, Jr. & Yu Xue, 2014. "Does Failing a Placement Exam Discourage Underprepared Students from Going to College?," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 10(1), pages 46-80, November.
    3. Ahn, Tom, 2014. "A regression discontinuity analysis of graduation standards and their impact on students’ academic trajectories," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 64-75.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C10 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - General
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • 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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