Using a difference-in-differences approach, we exploit a quasi-experiment occurred in a large public university located in Southern Italy, to examine whether the introduction of a selective admission test affects students’ performances. Our analysis on this unique data set shows that a change of regime to a restrictive admission policy reduces the dropout rate of first year students by about 14%, increasing their grade point average by 0.78 points. Interestingly, in addition to the increase in the average quality of admitted students, our results suggest that positive effects of a policy change to the testbased selective access largely operate through the impact of a better quality of peers on individual performances. Results are robust to various robustness checks. Compared with other studies using a similar approach, our own provides evidence that selective admission policies can induce different educational outcomes in different geographic areas of the same national system of higher education.

On the Causal Effects of Selective Admission Policies on Students’ Performances. Evidence from a Quasi-experiment in a Large Italian University

D'AMATO, Marcello;
2014

Abstract

Using a difference-in-differences approach, we exploit a quasi-experiment occurred in a large public university located in Southern Italy, to examine whether the introduction of a selective admission test affects students’ performances. Our analysis on this unique data set shows that a change of regime to a restrictive admission policy reduces the dropout rate of first year students by about 14%, increasing their grade point average by 0.78 points. Interestingly, in addition to the increase in the average quality of admitted students, our results suggest that positive effects of a policy change to the testbased selective access largely operate through the impact of a better quality of peers on individual performances. Results are robust to various robustness checks. Compared with other studies using a similar approach, our own provides evidence that selective admission policies can induce different educational outcomes in different geographic areas of the same national system of higher education.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12570/5769
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