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How the Timing of Grade Retention Affects Outcomes: Identification and Estimation of Time-Varying Treatment Effects

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Abstract

Increasingly, grade retention is viewed as an important alternative to social promotion, yet evidence to date is unable to disentangle how the effect of grade retention varies by abilities and over time. The key challenge is differential selection of students into retention across grades and by abilities. Because existing quasi-experimental methods cannot address this question, we develop a new strategy that is a hybrid between a control function and a generalization of the fixed effects approach. Applying our method to nationally-representative, longitudinal data, we find evidence of dynamic selection into retention and that the treatment effect of retention varies considerably across grades and unobservable abilities of students. Our strategy can be applied more broadly to many time-varying or multiple treatment settings.

Suggested Citation

  • Jane Cooley Fruehwirth & Salvador Navarro & Yuya Takahashi, 2011. "How the Timing of Grade Retention Affects Outcomes: Identification and Estimation of Time-Varying Treatment Effects," University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP) Working Papers 20117, University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP).
  • Handle: RePEc:uwo:hcuwoc:20117
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. María F. Prada & Sergio S. Urzúa, 2014. "One Size does not Fit All: Multiple Dimensions of Ability, College Attendance and Wages," NBER Working Papers 20752, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Salvador Navarro & Jin Zhou, 2017. "Identifying Agent's Information Sets: an Application to a Lifecycle Model of Schooling, Consumption, and Labor Supply," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 25, pages 58-92, April.
    3. Frisancho, Veronica & Krishna, Kala & Lychagin, Sergey & Yavas, Cemile, 2016. "Better luck next time: Learning through retaking," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 120-135.
    4. repec:tpr:edfpol:v:12:y:2017:i:3:p:312-341 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Esteban Aucejo & Jonathan James, 2017. "Catching Up to Girls: Understanding the Gender Imbalance in Educational Attainment Within Race," Working Papers 1701, California Polytechnic State University, Department of Economics.
    6. Marion Gousse, 2014. "Marriage Market and Intra-Household Allocation. Essays in Economics of Family and Education," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/6tve7u8o9k9, Sciences Po.
    7. Baert, Stijn & Cockx, Bart, 2013. "Pure ethnic gaps in educational attainment and school to work transitions: When do they arise?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 276-294.
    8. Hill, Andrew J., 2014. "The costs of failure: Negative externalities in high school course repetition," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 91-105.
    9. Robert J. Gary‐Bobo & Marion Goussé & Jean‐Marc Robin, 2016. "Grade retention and unobserved heterogeneity," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 7(3), pages 781-820, November.
    10. Picchio, Matteo & Pigini, Claudia & Staffolani, Stefano & Verashchagina, Alina, 2018. "If Not Now, When? The Timing of Childbirth and Labour Market Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 11270, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Mai Seki, 2013. "Heterogeneous Returns to U.S. College Selectivity and the Value of Graduate Degree Attainment," Staff Working Papers 13-46, Bank of Canada.
    12. Manuel Coutinho Pereira & Hugo J. Reis, 2014. "Grade retention during basic education in Portugal: determinants and impact on student achievement," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.

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    Keywords

    time-varying treatments; dynamic selection; grade retention; factor analysis;

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