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The Effect of Grade Retention on Secondary School Performance: Evidence from a Natural Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Ferreira Sequeda, Maria

    (Research Centre for Educ and Labour Mark)

  • Golsteyn, Bart

    (Macro, International & Labour Economics, RS: GSBE DUHR, RS: GSBE Theme Human Decisions and Policy Design, RS: GSBE Theme Learning and Work)

  • Parra Cely, Sergio

    (General Economics 0 (Onderwijs), RS: GSBE DUHR)

Abstract

We study the effects of grade retention on secondary school performance by considering a change in Colombia’s educative legislation. In 2010, the rule that forced schools to retain up to a 5% of students was abolished. Exploiting variation in schools’ retention rates in a difference-in-differences framework, we find that retained (marginally non-retained) students improve (decline) their performance on language but not on math test scores. We suggest the school’s position in the retention distribution, and the proportion of inexperienced teachers in the classroom, can be the mechanisms by which the marginally decreasing returns of grade retention are determined.

Suggested Citation

  • Ferreira Sequeda, Maria & Golsteyn, Bart & Parra Cely, Sergio, 2018. "The Effect of Grade Retention on Secondary School Performance: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Research Memorandum 018, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:umagsb:2018018
    DOI: 10.26481/umagsb.2018018
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    Cited by:

    1. Javier Valbuena & Mauro Mediavilla & Álvaro Choi & María Gil, 2021. "Effects Of Grade Retention Policies: A Literature Review Of Empirical Studies Applying Causal Inference," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(2), pages 408-451, April.
    2. Emilio Borghesan & Hugo Reis & Petra E. Todd, 2022. "Learning Through Repetition? A Dynamic Evaluation of Grade Retention in Portugal," PIER Working Paper Archive 22-030, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    3. Ferreira Sequeda, Maria, 2020. "The effect of grade retention on secondary school dropout: Evidence from a natural experiment," ROA Research Memorandum 014, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    4. Ferreira Sequeda, Maria, 2020. "The effect of grade retention on secondary school dropout:," Research Memorandum 037, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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