The Effects of Remedial Mathematics on the Learning of Economics: A Natural Experiment

31 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2007  

Johan N. M. Lagerlöf

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics

Andrew Seltzer

University of London, Royal Holloway College - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 12, 2008

Abstract

This paper examines the effects of remedial mathematics on performance in university-level economics courses using a natural experiment. We study exam results prior and subsequent to the implementation of a remedial mathematics course that was compulsory for a sub-set of students and unavailable for the others, controlling for background variables. We find that, consistent with previous studies, the level of and performance in secondary-school mathematics has strong predictive power on students' performance at university-level economics. However, the evidence for a positive effect of remedial mathematics on student performance is relatively weak and is limited to a few sub-groups of students.

Keywords: remedial mathematics, teaching of economics, difference-in-differences, heterogeneous treatment effects, quantile regressions

JEL Classification: A22, I20

Suggested Citation

Lagerlöf, Johan N. M. and Seltzer, Andrew, The Effects of Remedial Mathematics on the Learning of Economics: A Natural Experiment (January 12, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1004458 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1004458

Johan N. M. Lagerlof (Contact Author)

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics ( email )

Øster Farimagsgade 5
Bygning 26
1353 Copenhagen K.
Denmark

HOME PAGE: http://www.johanlagerlof.com/

Andrew Seltzer

University of London, Royal Holloway College - Department of Economics ( email )

Royal Holloway College
Egham
Surrey, Surrey TW20 0EX
United Kingdom

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