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Highlights of the CInSt research seminar with Francisco Cabrera

Francisco Cabrera presented his research "Leave them kids alone! The positive effect of abolishing grade retention on dropout rates" on CInSt research seminar on December 12th.

Highlights of the CInSt research seminar with Francisco Cabrera

Many studies have shown the link between grade repetition and dropouts. However, causal evidence is scarce and mixed. The author estimates the effects of an exogenous change in grade retention in Mexico on student’s dropout likelihood for varying socioeconomic backgrounds and family investments. 
The author finds that drop out rates fall 0.17pp. per each 1.0 pp of reduction in average grade repetition. This takes more relevance if sustained in upper basic education where dropout rates reach 9%. Although the effects are only present in richer schools and with higher family investments, this is a low-cost policy that can directly enhance average school attainment.
Further findings suggest that eliminating the ”threat” of grade repetition did not affect pupil’s performance in standardized tests. The results are robust to different specifications, a secondary methodology and falsification tests.