The Causal Effects of Course Failure

The Causal Effects of Course Failure

Andrew Penner, University of California
Séminaire scientifique de l'OSC - 9 décembre 2016
  • Algebra (Photo Dreamingofariz via Flickr - [CC BY])Algebra (Photo Dreamingofariz via Flickr - [CC BY])

Séminaire scientifique de l'OSC 2016-2017

98, rue de l'Université 75007 Paris - salle Georges Lavau

vendredi 9 décembre 2016 de 11h30 à 13h

The Causal Effects of Course Failure

Failure is typically conceptualized as something to be avoided, recent tech firms’ mantra to “fail forward” notwithstanding. Yet in many educational contexts failure is widespread enough to be considered normative. We consider one such case in education, examining the causal effects of repeating Algebra on students’ later achievement. Using administrative data from the California Department of Education, we exploit end of year test score-based discontinuities in first time Algebra takers likelihood of repeating Algebra to estimate causal effects of failure in schools across California. We combine our regression discontinuity estimates from different schools using meta-analysis to examine whether the heterogeneity in the effects that we observe varies by school characteristics. We conclude by highlighting the utility of our approach to understanding the ways that schools shape students' lives by creating meaningful categories more broadly.

Andrew Penner (UCI)


Andrew Penner
Associate-Professor in Sociology
University of California, Irvine


Entrée libre sur inscription préablable auprès de Marie Ferrazzini.

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