Journal of Applied Econometrics

Modeling the effects of grade retention in high school

Journal Article

Summary A dynamic discrete‐choice model is set up to estimate the effects of grade retention in high school, both in the short run (end‐of‐year evaluation) and in the long run (drop‐out and delay). In contrast to other evaluation approaches, this model captures essential treatment heterogeneity and controls for grade‐varying unobservable determinants. In addition, forced track downgrading is considered as an alternative remedial measure. Our results indicate that grade retention has a neutral effect on academic achievement in the short run. In the long run, grade retention, just like forced downgrading, has adverse effects on schooling outcomes and, more so, for less able pupils.

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