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Promotion with and without learning : effects on student enrollment and dropout behavior

Author

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  • King, Elizabeth M.
  • Orazem, Peter F.
  • Paterno, Elizabeth M.

Abstract

Many educators and policymakers have argued for lenient grade promotion policy - even automatic promotion - in developing country settings where grade retention rates are high. The argument assumes that grade retention discourages persistence or continuation in school and that the promotion of children with lower achievement does not hamper their ability or their peers'ability to perform at the next level. Alternatively, promoting students into grades for which they are not prepared may lead to early dropout behavior. This study shows that in a sample of schools from the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan, students are promoted primarily on the basis of merit. An econometric decomposition of promotion decisions into a component that is based on merit indicators (attendance and achievement in mathematics and language) and another that is uncorrelated with those indicators allows a test of whether parental decisions to keep their child in school is influenced by merit-based or non-merit-based promotions. Results suggest that the enrollment decision is significantly influenced by whether learning has taken place, and that grade promotion that is uncorrelated with merit has a negligible impact on school continuation.

Suggested Citation

  • King, Elizabeth M. & Orazem, Peter F. & Paterno, Elizabeth M., 2008. "Promotion with and without learning : effects on student enrollment and dropout behavior," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4722, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4722
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Orazem, Peter F. & King, Elizabeth M., 2008. "Schooling in Developing Countries: The Roles of Supply, Demand and Government Policy," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    2. André, Pierre, 2009. "Is grade repetition one of the causes of early school dropout? :Evidence from Senegalese primary schools," MPRA Paper 25665, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Nazmul Chaudhury & Jeffrey Hammer & Michael Kremer & Karthik Muralidharan & F. Halsey Rogers, 2006. "Missing in Action: Teacher and Health Worker Absence in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 91-116, Winter.
    4. Kathleen Beegle & Rajeev Dehejia & Roberta Gatti, 2009. "Why Should We Care About Child Labor?: The Education, Labor Market, and Health Consequences of Child Labor," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(4).
    5. Ilahi, Nadeem & Orazem, Peter F. & Sedlacek, Guilherme, 2005. "How does working as a child affect wage, income, and poverty asan adult?," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 32745, The World Bank.
    6. Orazem, Peter & Gunnarsson, Victoria, 2004. "Child Labour, School Attendance and Performance: A Review," Staff General Research Papers Archive 11177, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tertiary Education; Education For All; Secondary Education; Primary Education; Teaching and Learning;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

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