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

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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.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherMaastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics
Number of pages47
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2018

Publication series

SeriesGSBE Research Memoranda
Number018

JEL classifications

  • i20 - Education and Research Institutions: General
  • i24 - Education and Inequality
  • j24 - "Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity"

Keywords

  • retention
  • Colombia
  • difference-in-differences

Cite this

Ferreira Sequeda, M., Golsteyn, B., & Parra Cely, S. (2018). The Effect of Grade Retention on Secondary School Performance: Evidence from a Natural Experiment. Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics. GSBE Research Memoranda, No. 018 https://doi.org/10.26481/umagsb.2018018