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ISEG Undergraduate Students: Determinants of Academic Performance

  • LEÃO FERNANDES, GRAÇA
  • CHAGAS LOPES, MARGARIDA

Abstract Over the last three decades there have been in Portugal a quite huge public investment in the school system and the implementation of an effective compulsory education. These changes came along with the democratization of school experience. Moreover the increase in the number of students in higher education is a national goal that have been pursued by education policy. Families, with fewer children, the perception of higher studies as a way to move up in the social ladder and better life conditions have an active behaviour on behalf of their children education. However, in spite of all the government and parents investment in children education, school failure is a major problem that affects all levels of education. At university level school failure affects mainly undergraduate students in their first year of studies1. This problem is a major concern for those involved in higher education political definition and this is why it becomes a research field of much interest. This paper intends to shed some light on the determinants of academic performance of undergraduate students of the School of Economics and Management in their first year of studies. Following Dollado and Morales (2007) we will measure success in academic performance using the exam´s marks in three 1st year subjects with decreasing degrees of mathematical complexity, Maths, Economy 1 and Management and Economic History. In this paper we go further than Dollado and Morales (2007) since, besides type of school, specialization track at high school and marks obtained at the university entry-exam, we study the role of individual characteristics, family socio-economic background and pre-university school trajectory on the academic performance. We put an emphasis on the effect of transitions from public\private or private\public schools and from in-home to out-home.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 22082.

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Date of creation: Sep 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:22082
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  1. Neal, Derek, 1997. "The Effects of Catholic Secondary Schooling on Educational Achievement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 98-123, January.
  2. Chagas Lopes, Margarida & Medeiros, João, 2004. "School Failure and Intergenerational “Human Capital” Transmission in Portugal," MPRA Paper 26764, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Rothstein, J.M.Jesse M., 2004. "College performance predictions and the SAT," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 297-317.
  4. Ammermuller, Andreas & Heijke, Hans & Wo[ss]mann, Ludger, 2005. "Schooling quality in Eastern Europe: Educational production during transition," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 579-599, October.
  5. Charles Ballard & Marianne Johnson, 2005. "Gender, Expectations, And Grades In Introductory Microeconomics At A Us University," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(1), pages 95-122.
  6. Eric A. Hanushek, 1979. "Conceptual and Empirical Issues in the Estimation of Educational Production Functions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(3), pages 351-388.
  7. repec:eme:rlepps:v:18:y:1999:i:1999:p:115-140 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Stephen Machin & Sandra McNally, 2006. "Gender and Student Achievement in English Schools," CEE Discussion Papers 0058, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  9. David M. Blau, 1999. "The Effect Of Income On Child Development," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 261-276, May.
  10. C. Russell Hill & Frank P. Stafford, 1980. "Parental Care of Children: Time Diary Estimates of Quantity, Predictability, and Variety," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 15(2), pages 219-239.
  11. Chiara Pronzato, 2008. "Why Educated Mothers don’t Make Educated Children? A Statistical Study in the Intergenerational Transmission of Schooling," CHILD Working Papers wp08_08, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
  12. Ermisch, John & Francesconi, Marco, 2001. "Family Matters: Impacts of Family Background on Educational Attainments," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(270), pages 137-56, May.
  13. Guyonne Kalb & Sholeh A. Maani, 2007. "The Importance of Observing Early School Leaving and Usually Unobserved Background and Peer Characteristics in Analysing Academic Performance," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2007n05, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  14. Eide, Eric & Showalter, Mark H., 1998. "The effect of school quality on student performance: A quantile regression approach," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 345-350, March.
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